God – Swag
Matthew 5:5 “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.”
Recently I had a chance to speak to college students about one of Jesus’ beatitudes, and to be honest, it’s not one of my favorites. To be even more honest, none of them are. Matthew 5 is loaded with tough challenges about being poor in spirit, mourning and being a peacemaker. Ouch! It seems that these attitudes are SO contradictory to our flesh that Jesus chose to begin each statement with the reminder that we will be blessed if we obey! (I use this same tactic on my 2 year old when it comes to eating peas! “I’ll give you CANDY if you just eat this one PEA!”) At any rate, I was charged with the responsibility of teaching on these 10 words, and I wanted to share with you what I learned in the process.
In order to BE meek, we must first understand what meek is all about, right? Unfortunately, we humans are simple creatures, and if something rhymes, it has to be true…therefore we assume that to be MEEK is to be WEAK. Other non-rhyming analogies include: wimpy, spineless, cowardly and shy. Here’s the catch…if you’ve studied the life of Jesus at all, these analogies to “weak” are as far off the mark as possible in describing Him! Yet, I believe Jesus was meek, as He wouldn’t challenge us to do something He was unwilling to do Himself (sidebar: as a leader, make this a principle in your life and you will lead better!)
In contrast, meekness is also not defined by selfishness, egotism or bullying. The meek don’t really carry themselves with a “swag” that shows the world that it revolves around them, do they? Not exactly, but here’s what I’ve come to learn: while meek is neither week nor prideful, it does reveal a confidence in a connection to the God of the universe. Take Jeremiah 9:23-24 for example: “Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts BOAST ABOUT THIS: THAT HE UNDERSTANDS AND KNOWS ME, that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,” declares the Lord.”
The meek carry themselves with what I would call “God-Swag”. There is a confidence and security that comes from knowing that we serve the Creator of the Universe, and that He chooses to love us even though we have nothing to offer Him! And it gets even better! Matthew 5:5 promises that when we have this calm confidence, not in ourselves but in our Father, we get to INHERIT the EARTH! You see, the WEAK don’t DESERVE the earth and the PROUD can’t EARN the earth, but the MEEK can be GIVEN the earth. By recognizing all power is from God and all glory goes to God, we become heirs of everything that is His! He does all the work and we get to live on His dime! What a deal!
So, in your life are you living to make a name for yourself? Do you react more strongly when your name is put down, or when God’s is? Would you sacrifice your own image to protect and honor the image of the God who created you and loves you? Do you carry yourself with ME-Swag, or GOD-Swag?