Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Oh No, Not 'Meek' ... A Spiritual Look at Issues of Interest to Young People

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Oh No, Not 'Meek' ... A Spiritual Look at Issues of Interest to Young People

Article excerpt

What's your honest reaction to "Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth"? Blessed means "happy." I suppose anyone should be happy inheriting the whole earth! But do you really want to be meek? I've thought a lot about that beatitude from the Sermon on the Mount.

A lot of people think meek means weak. How, I thought, can I want to be some kind of wishy-washy wimp? How could that help anyone?

But then someone pointed out to me that a French Bible says it like this: "Blessed are the debonair ...." (Matt. 5:5). Now, I thought, that's something that I can work on being - debonair! The way most people think of it, debonair means dressing up in fashionable and fancy clothes. But I was quickly able to see that that's really not it. Although there is certainly nothing wrong with dressing in style, what being debonair means here is being good, happy, cheerful, and calm. It's the attitude of a person who is willing and able to help someone out (or be helped out by someone). It's the attitude of a person who enjoys getting up and working, and is happy to share that enjoyment. Now, that's a different view of "meek." Remember the rich miser Ebeneezer Scrooge? In the first part of the story "A Christmas Carol," he has an attitude that is basically the opposite of meek. On the other hand, there's his nephew Fred, who is kind of poor, but invites his Uncle Scrooge to a Christmas party. Fred has meekness. You could say he's debonair. There's something else that's necessary to having the kind of meekness Jesus was talking about in that beatitude. It's having a willingness to trust God and to put God first in your life. How does that work? Do you have to spend hours each day in prayer, and lots of time in church? Certainly - if that's what comes to you to do! For most people it's usually more like this: Suppose you're beginning a major assignment at school. This task looks absolutely mountainous! It's a really, really big project. …

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