- By: Paige Allen
Matthew 5:5, “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.” (NIV)
It was an ordinary Monday as I looked at my schedule and all that awaited me that day. It started with waking my two girls from their slumber and trying to get them out the door for school. There were lunches to pack, teeth to brush, and shoes to find. I was mom for a solid hour, and then as I walked them into the school, I put on my sweetest smile as I talked to other mothers and teachers trying my best to present myself as the mom who has life together even though I may have said some loud words about lost shoes just minutes before. Do they think I’m a good mom?
My day continued with a work meeting where I was the only woman around a table with seven men. At that moment, I found myself tempering my voice, trying desperately to fit in with the boys’ club yet also feeling strong opinions bubble beyond my calm demeanor. Do they respect me? Should I say more or say less?
Next, I was at lunch with a dear friend laughing and telling stories for her ears only, followed by a counseling appointment where I was the listener expected to give wisdom to an impossible situation. What should I say? Am I old enough to be dispensing advice? Holy Spirit, please help me!
Later that day, I found myself with my wife/mom mask firmly secured as I cooked dinner, helped with homework, listened to his work dilemma while fighting the exhaustion that was setting in after a very long day. Does my little one feel loved today? Can’t my husband please do homework duty? I wish I had just an hour to myself so I had something to give.
I want to be the mother and wife they need. I want to be the woman who hears the voice of the Spirit so clearly that I have wisdom for every need. I want to be the pastor who is confident in who she is and uses her voice well. And yet, on days when I’m not entirely dependent on the Father, I find myself trading out masks, trying desperately to “be” who I think others want me to be in every situation. Satan plants little lies in my mind while I vacillate between the thoughts that I’m either too much or not enough.
Have you ever felt that you were too much? Too bossy or too quiet, too driven or loud, too emotional or needy? Or maybe it’s just that constant fear in the pit of your stomach that you are not enough regardless of the situation.
Satan loves feeding the lies of too much and not enough. He delights in watching us live our lives where we constantly trade out masks trying to be someone we weren’t created to be. He knows if we keep ourselves busy with pretending, we miss out on the wonder of living.
In Jesus’ famous sermon on the mount, He lists several ways of living that creates a beautiful life. There was one season in my life where I poured over this portion of Scripture, hoping desperately to unlock the mystery so I could experience that beautiful life. A few of the descriptions tripped me up, though – especially the one that says, “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.”
I want to inherit the earth, but meek I am not. I consider a meek personality to be a mousy one – always quiet, deferring to the needs of others, but holding completely pure motives. And let’s just say I’ve been called bossy a time or two (especially by my younger sisters). On most days, quietude is not my mode of operation, and more times than I’m proud to admit, my motives include self-glory.
But if Jesus said the meek would have a beautiful life, I decided I should dig into the definition of meek a little more. I was shocked to discover that others translate meek as humble or gentle. Humility especially grabbed my attention because Moses described himself as the humblest of all men (Numbers 12:3), even though he was not a doormat as he appeared before Pharaoh. Jesus himself is described as humble, and He was far from always quiet.
Andrew Murray defines humility as “the place of entire dependence on God.” What this means is that meek or humble people are aware of the truth that they need God in every moment of every day. They fight their flesh’s desire for control, stop juggling masks and instead look to their Maker in faith at every turn.
Notice how the Message translates this portion of the Beatitudes:
“You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought.”
The constant questions and feelings of too much or not enough are based on a lack of faith that God created us as He intended. Now, of course, He is transforming us day by day more into His image as we obey His Word, but part of that transformation happens as we begin to believe that when He created us, He made something good.
What might our lives look like today if we traded in our masks for meekness? What if we believe His voice when making lunches, sitting in meetings, and talking with our friends? Could we exchange the questions scrolling through our minds for His words of truth so that we can be content with how He made us?
I don’t know about you, but I’m on a journey of embracing meekness and believing that I can be content as He made me! I’m not too much, and in Him, I’m enough. You are too.