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I am strong because I know my weaknesses

Fret Not (Part 3)
Blessed are the Meek

"Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth."
Matthew 5:5 ESV

Many mistake meekness for weakness, believing that the meek are subservient and ever yielding to the antagonist. This world esteems those who rise to fight back, crush injustice and avenge wrong. The cultural hero figure it readily embraces is the Steve Rogers type (the protagonist from the Captain America movies) who transforms into the ultimate superhero to defeat evil in the world.

Before his transformation, the character of Steve Rogers was portrayed as a sickly and helpless young man, yet noble in the endeavour to fulfill his duty for the allies involved in World War II. Despite his honourable intentions, he was physically incapable of being the hero he desired to be. The military leaders of the day believed that defeating evil required brute strength, something that Rogers failed to possess. Though entertaining, the comic book superhero mentality flies in the face of true meekness.

The Bible teaches that the meek are those who choose the way of patient faith instead of self-assertion.1 Followers of Jesus do not fight with worldly weapons or strategies; but rather, through the Holy Spirit's empowerment, live differently than those belonging to the world. When confronted with opposition, Christians are encouraged to continue to do good, befriend faithfulness, live generously and love their enemies. There is great power in meekness, a characteristic the world cannot comprehend, but one that's readily available to those who embrace it.

"Meekness is a grace which Jesus alone inculcated, and which no
ancient philosopher seems to have understood or recommended."2

Many western Christians want their version of Captain America. When they see how their own culture is turning against their Christian values and beliefs, they look for those who will rise to protect them. How many political leaders are voted into office with the hopes of stemming the tide of anti-Christian policies? How many religions have been vilified by followers of Jesus because of the fear of being overrun? The Biblical implications of meekness, and the accompanying promise of an eternal inheritance, get lost on those seeking strength in "chariots" and "horses" (Psalm 20:7). But I have observed power in the lives of those who are considered weak and helpless by the world's standards --- people like Rose.     

RoseRose is a beautiful, intelligent girl that any father would be proud to have as a daughter. After her father converted to Christianity, he became active in evangelizing anyone who came into his little shop. After he became a Christian, those who had known Rose's father prior to his conversion were so amazed at the change in him that his explanation of the Gospel convinced many to submit to Jesus as their Saviour and Lord. However, others were angry with Rose's father and threatened him to stop telling people about Jesus.

"If I know the truth, how can I stop from sharing it with others?" the dedicated believer would reply. Though the threats were serious, Rose's father responded with a level of humility that demonstrated his submission to the will of God. Then, one dreadful day, he was attacked and severely beaten. Although rushed to the hospital, he died from the blunt force trauma of the attack.

At this point in her storytelling, Rose's words caught in her throat and she buried her face in her hands. Rose was reliving that terrible day and grieved anew her father's sudden and cruel death at the hands of hateful men. The Bible tells us that God "is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit" (Psalm 34:18 ESV). During that very moment of anguish, God was clearly comforting His precious daughter.

"I have forgiven those men," Rose affirmed, the tears not yet dried from her face. "God brought me to this orphanage where I am cared for and educated. I study hard and learn about God in order to teach the Bible to those who killed my Dad. How can I hate them when they didn't know what they were doing?"

Rose is the type of hero this world desperately needs. She doesn't fret over the attacks of the wicked but finds the ability to rejoice in the face of malice. Her answer to opposition is to respond with the Gospel. Like her father, Rose asks, "If I know the truth, how can I remain silent?"

If the world sees such meekness as weakness, then let us strive to be weak.

"In just a little while, the wicked will be no more;
though you look carefully at his place, he will not be there.
But the meek shall inherit the land
and delight themselves in abundant peace."

Psalm 37:10-11 ESV

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Floyd A. Brobbel
Chief Executive Officer
The Voice of the Martyrs Canada Inc.

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