Monday, June 1, 2009

The Gentle Paradox

“Blessed are the gentle, because they will inherit the earth.” (Matthew 5:5)

The word we see in most translations is: “Blessed are the meek.” The word “meek” apparently has a bad rap. It rhymes with “weak,” for one reason, and that is generally the idea that comes to most people’s minds when they hear it. They think of someone who is cowardly, who has no spine, no courage, and not much of anything else either. So some use the word “gentle” in newer translations to try to overcome these preconceptions.

The underlying idea of this word is teachability. It describes someone who has a teachable spirit, who is interested in learning, someone who is not so caught up in her or her own ego that they cannot listen to what someone else has to say. It takes a lot of personal security and confidence to be a learner. Learners become leaders, and leaders know how to take care of things, like the earth. They are trustworthy because they listen.

Moses was described as “the meekest man on earth.” A leader like that is anything but weak. His leadership was powerful because he listened to God. The power of his life came from the power of the One he served. It was because he listened to God that God anointed him as one of the premier leaders of all time. That is what gentle is.

Father, Reveal in our hearts the reality of what real strength is all about. Amen.

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