Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Blessed are the Meek, for they shall inherit the earth!

Posted by Hannah at 7:33 AM

I read an article recently on Christianity Today, about a man I think most of us have heard of.  Do you remember Mister Rogers?

I remember when I was young my mother had us watch his show, and told us that he was a Presbyterian minister.  The picture was an Album my parents got us one year, and the rectangle shown in the picture was a mirror.  You looked in the mirror on the cover, and Mister Rogers was reminding you how special you were once again.  I was a little old for the album, but I remember using it when I babysat.

Mister Rogers reminds me of the scripture:  Blessed are the Meek, for they shall inherit the earth.  His message not only to children, but to everyone was 'accept everyone for who they are'.  

To me it wasn't just lip service for him, and as I was looking on Youtube I saw an interview with on the Rosie O'Donnell show.  Rosie is controversial on many realms, but has a big heart for children.  When I saw the interview I could just hear many Christians saying, "I don't know if I would go on her show.  It might be seen as endorsing her lifestyle (She is a Lesbian) !"  His grace filled nature just shined through, and his kindness wasn't just for show.  It was who he was towards everyone.

Lady Elaine
I was watching an interview with him as well, and he spoke of the stereotype we hear about 'how men should be' when it comes to showing their feelings.  We have all heard the sayings right?  Men don't cry!  Men don't get emotional!  Society wanted men to be STUFFERS, and he mentioned that he used to use music to allow those feelings to surface.  If he was upset, sad, happy whatever it was he could freely show them with his music.  He mentioned it never hurt anyone. 

He found an acceptable way of doing this, and he was very clear about how this gift came from God.  He was able to throw off the society's rules, and show his feelings.  His wife mentioned that it takes a certain amount of courage to tell his feelings.  How he has been liberated for a very long time, and she was sure there were many men that would very much like to me that way.  
...Because if you are trusted then people will allow you to share their inner garden with you.  What greater gift? - Fred Rogers 
 What does it mean to be MEEK?

I think there are so many people that look upon the word as a sort of weakness.  Someone that is naive, and easy to run over.  Someone silly and maybe not all that intelligent.  I guess they seem to think of maybe children's show like Winnie the Pooh or Sponge Bob.

Daniel the Tiger
There is talk about how RIGHT is MIGHT now days, and how men aren't allowed to be MEN anymore.  I also think people get the wrong idea about men that are filled to the brim with the Holy Spirit, and their gentle nature is taken as 'feminized' today.  Most define the word as mild mannered, spine-less, weak, submissive, subservient, passive…ineffective.

To me in today's culture we get so CAUGHT up in placing everything into 'roles', or categories of  'male and female' that we seem to miss something very important.

Jesus was meek, and you have to wonder if they ever stopped to think MAYBE they have the wrong impression of the word meek.  The definition of meek I guess is hard, because it has many aspects to it.  Its a multi faceted word, and maybe that is why people don't understand it.  I know if they truly knew the meaning?  I doubt pushover would come to mind.


Lets take how a person would approach anger!  I think we all know that the bible states we can be angry, but do not sin in that anger. Anger can be a selfish response to the world and other people.  We feel angry when we feel don’t get our way or we feel like we are not being noticed.

The meek get angry, but they are angry for the right reasons.  Some things in this life should make you angry.

When someone does something to hurt someone else, or you…the proper response is anger!  When we encounter injustice, prejudice, and hatred it causes righteous anger inside us, which helps us have the courage to strive towards change at times!

The meek have more self control when it comes to anger if you wish to compare them to most.  They seem to understand this passage in James 1:19  My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. 21Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.

I'm sure we are all familiar with this passage, but lets look at one sentence again!  "for man's anger does not bring about the righteousness that God desires."   Human anger rarely accomplishes divine purposes does it? The wrong type of anger is prevalent back then, and of course it is still today!

The Trolley to the Land of Make Believe
The meek don’t confuse their own immature, angry responses to life as God’s anger.

You hear to often people comparing their angry to that of God's.  James says that human anger does not accomplish God’s righteousness.  People feel since they are angry so is GOD!  The meek know the difference and seek to focus on God’s anger rather than their own.   We want to GO with that anger, and the meek have enough self control to focus on God's!

When I think about that?  God gave them a WHOLE lot of inner strength!  Strength that is disciplined, strength that is truly strong, and strength that God wishes us all to have.  People say the meek are: mild mannered, spine-less, weak, submissive, subservient, passive…ineffective.  If we look at how those deal with angry compared to how God wishes them to?  We have to realize WHOM is truly the weak ones!


The Strength of the Lion, and the Gentleness of the Lamb.  That is what I think of when I think of the second aspect of meek.  It takes great strength to deal with anger the way God would ask us to, and yet he also asks us to be gentle.  

Gentleness doesn't mean wimpy by any means.  Indeed, this characteristic will largely determine how much peace and contentment are in our lives and how well we do during trials.

To often we get the message in this world of, 'Blessed are the strong, who can hold their own.'

“Gentleness” forces us to take inventory of our attitudes and behaviors. It expresses itself in our attitudes toward God, ourselves and how we treat others.

A humble attitude toward God and others makes us gentle, humble, sensitive and patient in our dealings with others.

The Holy Spirit enables us to over come these worldly behaviors.  For example, "Now the works of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity, depravity, idolatry, sorcery, hostilities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish rivalries, dissensions, factions, envying, murder, drunkenness, carousing, and similar things. I am warning you, as I had warned you before: Those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God!" (Galatians 5:19-21) To overcome these passions and behaviors we need more than self-control. We need God’s help!  God can indeed help us in this area.

There is an aspect to Mister Rogers that always gentle.  He was a very intelligent man, and it seems no matter whom he ran into in life they were special to him.  Watch a video of his introduction prior to winning an award.

He was very approachable, and YES people trusted their inner most thoughts and feelings to him.  Today some would call that 'feminine', and yet its very healthy for everyone to have someone 'safe' to speak with regarding our inner thoughts if we feel led to. 

He also wasn't one that you have to place some 'acting role' out there in order to do this.  To often you see people wanting to play this 'role' of goodness, gentleness, etc that is so fake in church, and yet when you meet the real them outside the doors of the church their personality is completely different. 

Its not BAD to me, but shows how people can't be real at times.  People don't feel comfortable coming to the church with problems the church claims you should when their is an atmosphere is having to deal with things within an acting role.

Today I suppose they would call that an aspect of 'feminizing' the church, but has been there for longer than I can remember.  No one can truly be the 'real you' within the atmosphere of the church, but instead have this list of acceptable 'roles' instead.  People feel stifled, and since most of us don't fill the role that is placed out there?  It almost makes you feel ashamed.  Not good enough.  Not filling the mark.  It doesn't make the church feel safe and approachable.  Mister Rogers didn't present that road block.  He was genuine, and wanted to see and accept the real you.

That's not feminine, but how God would wish us to all strive for.  Today it seems we are to busy looking for aspects to slam others with instead.  Mister Rogers wanted to look for the good, and accepted YOU as a unique special creature of God.  To me?  That's refreshing!  People don't have to do this the Mister Rogers way, and I have wonder if there are so few examples out there that is HOW we get to thinking: I don't want to be some man with sweaters, bow ties, and sing to children like he does!  THINK outside the BOX people!

Tim Madigan wrote a book called, "I'm proud of you!" about his friendship with Fred Rogers.  You can read the first chapter of his book on his website.

On February 28, 2003, the day after Fred's death from stomach cancer at age seventy-four, I published an essay in the Star-Telegram describing our unlikely friendship. For the next several days I was inundated with hundreds of letters, e-mails, and telephone messages from newspaper readers eager to share their own memories of Mister Rogers, and the impact he and his long-running children's program had on their lives. Scores of young adults wrote of the sense of security they felt growing up with him, of learning from Mister Rogers about their own value and what it meant to love. Parents wrote of entrusting their children to Mister Rogers for a half hour each day; the kindly, wise, civilizing influence in a world increasingly bereft of kindness, wisdom, and civility. 

As I answered those messages, I was pleased to assure the readers that Fred Rogers and Mister Rogers were indeed one and the same, that in real life Fred was as he appeared on television, the gentle embodiment of goodness and grace.
People poked fun at him due to his view of life, and how he wished to treat others.  His wife doesn't give me the impression of someone that wore the pants in the family, but she was showing her true respect towards him.  I learned the sweaters that he wore were presents that his mother 'hand made' just for him each Christmas.  He didn't have to talk down to people, but could acknowledge their pain.  He would be the first to say he still loves them despite their faults.  He was very slow to judge.

Jesus had a gentle nature to him.  It may at first seem impractical, foolish and even wild, but Jesus was no sentimental dreamer who dealt in empty platitudes either. He was an unflinching realist who has given us a great key to prosperity and dominion under God's purpose.  YES in ways he was different in some ways from Mister Rogers.  People can do 'gentle' in different ways.  What is true of both is they were easy to approach, and save to be with.  They were easy to share with, and you could count on the grace towards you.  Can you imagine either of them saying you have problem with biblical roles, authority of men, you must be a feminist?  That's certainly wasn't their priority in life was it?

Mr. McFelly - Speedy Delivery!
People that are meek used their strength, but also was done cautiously.  Just because you can does not mean that you should! 

Being able to push others around or force things usually has the opposite result than the one you imagined or planned.  The exercise of strength must be judicious, or it can cause more resentment and ill will than any problem it forces to bend to its desire.

To often people don't stop to think of that, and their urge to just tell them how 'ungodly' they are seems to be the norm.  When someone tells you if you have problem with the message GO talk to GOD?  Does that cause a desire to truly do that the way they intended, or see them as they are..a blow hard!

They say the world can't handle the truth?  Yet, they truly need to stop and listen, read scripture again, and maybe take a look at ourselves.

We all know what it is like to have someone use their strength in that way… the overbearing boss, the school yard bully, the older brother or sister, the cop who has let their authority become a license to push rough shod over reason...or to show off at the expense of others!

We see it in churches when people NEEDING to remind others of  'whom is in authority' within their homes.  Think about who Mister Rogers concentrated on when it came to authority!  It wasn't about HIM, but about God!  Mister Rogers could laugh at himself, but had enough inner validation not worry about feelings of others thinking he wasn't a 'true man'.

Who was accepting the truth and whom wasn't?  We are to busy pushing agendas, and proving our points.  We are to busy showing others THIS is what scripture means, and if you can't accept it you are out of God's will!  You see arrogance and not people that are approachable.  What happened to a gentle nature being an asset?  Now we call it feminized.


Here are some sayings we maybe familiar with!  "You can't teach an old dog new tricks!" or "it is hard to teach a person who knows it all already".

A person who is meek knows that they are gifted, talented, intelligent, but they attribute these gifts to their creator rather than taking credit for it themselves.  Mister Rogers always spoke of the gifts others gave to him to enrich his life.  He was very gifted, very talented, and as I mentioned very intelligent. He always attributed those gifts from God, and the blessings of the gifts from others enriched his life.  He was always looking to learn MORE as well!

Many people have the wrong idea about God, the Bible and humility. They seem to think being humble means groveling in front of others,  or thinking we're no good and others are good.  I guess people like to take things to the extreme, but the humble person can view balance in life.  The bible pictures a humble nature as someone that is free from pride and arrogance.  To me a humble person KNOWS who they are in Christ, and also knows that in the flesh they are inadequate.

Scripture says the humble person is the peace maker.  They walk in life not by their own 'personal power', but walk humbling in life with the guidance of the Holy Spirit.  The humility that God grants you if you ask him also shows you that you can be comfortable with WHO you are in the Lord, and show this by putting others first.  Loving others as God asks us all to do is not being a wimp.  'Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.' Phil 2:3

This so goes against what is seen in the world.  It does against all the stereotypes that culture places out there.  People take it to the extreme, and it make it sound like you can never make any decisions for yourself.

Lets look at Mister Rogers acceptance speech of a Lifetime Achievement award that he received.  YES he did thank all those that contributed to his life, but he also showed others how to place those before himself.

The Meek will inherit the Earth

People seem to look at that statement, and wonder HOW that can be so?  People mistake it seems to me as a 'female' trait.  They seem to be looking at something that truly isn't there.  William Barclay adds that meekness is "the most untranslatable of words in the New Testament".  I can believe it!

King Friday
Jesus was meek…and he inherits the kingdom.  The scripture in Philippians…where Jesus humbled himself and became meek as a servant.  God exalted him!

“Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him a name that is above every name. The Name of Jesus every knee shall bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that JESUS CHRIST IS LORD, to the glory of God the Father.   Amen.”   (Philippians 2: 6-11)

The gentle man knows his own ignorance, limitation and needs. It is freedom from all self-importance.  The push for roles to me shows self-importance.

Jesus described this attitude in Matthew 5:3-4 when He said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”

Meek and Humble Spirit?  It describes the proper “balance between too much and too little anger.”  There are some things in life that should make us angry as we mentioned. Here is the person who is "always angry at the right time, and never angry at the wrong time" with just the precise amount of anger. The gentle man is the man who can patiently endure. He is proactive instead of aggressive.

How do you handle pride, self-glory, aggression, manipulation, the tendency to withdraw and give the old silent treatment, the demand for position, power, privilege, and status? These are manifestations of the flesh or our sinful human nature.  Some label it as worldly! Its so easy to go with those, and yet that is not what God tells us to do.

Meek? Again Most define the word as mild mannered, spine-less, weak, submissive, subservient, passive…ineffective.  We need to check our spirit!  Do we say those things out of demand for power, privilege, status, and self glory that we as humans seek in this world?

We don't all have to be Mister Rogers with his bow tie, knitted sweaters, and asking children 'won't be my neighbor?"  That is the part people seem to be giggling about.  We are talking about how people need to balance their anger, being gentle enough that others trust and want to approach us, and humble enough to realize that this isn't about us - its about God.

Mister Rogers approached Rosie O'Donnell with grace and kindness.   I use her as an example, just because I can just HEAR the comments from others.  He didn't worry about 'how it would be seen', etc.  He accepted her as who she was.  Just like Jesus went to eat with sinners, as the legalistic 'religious' crowd was outside wondering HOW could he do such a thing?

Mister Rogers handed her a shell for a present, and he placed water on it.  Told her it looked more beautiful when it was wet.  It reminded him of life.  That tears and sweat often bring out the best in us.

Blessed are the Meek, for they shall inherit the Earth.

Let’s claim our inheritance. God has something wonderful waiting for us. "1How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 2Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears,[a]we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. 3Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure. " (1 John 3:1-3).

mild mannered, spine-less, weak, submissive, subservient, passive…ineffective.

God disagrees.

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