By: Jana Greene
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Most everyone knows this beatitude; what with the promise of inheriting the earth and all. I love the way The Message translation breaks it down:
“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.” (MSG)
Who else has felt like they are never enough? I don’t mean the self-depreciation that comes with not meeting individual expectations. I mean, who else struggles with core low self-esteem? Just feeling less-than?
At times, I feel I can do no right. I wish I were more organized, more punctual. More reliable. Steadier. It’s easy to get swept up in self loathing as a vehicle for ‘meekness,’ at least for me. Once the spiral gets going, it’s easy to believe all of your own negative press. Our self-esteem can ride on our hormonal fluctuations, our bruised egos, our moods.
Before I got sober, I was a very guarded person. I had few friends and because I was operating out of a place of near-complete fear, I reasoned that I wouldn’t say boo to a goose because I was ‘meek.’
I watched every word I said (sometimes that was good) for fear I might incriminate myself. I watched every thought because I just knew that God was displeased with my carnal nature. It was a stifling existence, fighting my voice in order to please everyone else, especially the Almighty.
It wasn’t a lifetime of meekness. It was a lifetime of being afraid. God isn’t afraid of my thoughts – He know them all already. Oh how I wish I had known that the Almighty was already okay with the real me!
Meekness is defined as (trigger warning) “submissiveness.” Why is being submissive considered such a societal ill? Because we are defining submission in terms of how humans treat each other, not how God treats His creation. If someone always has your best interest at heart and never fails at sweeping you off your feet, being submissive is easy. Most of the time.
It isn’t a watering-down, but a building-up!
Four years into sobriety, I met my husband. In an instant I fell in love and took the great risk of being myself with him. Through step work, I started loving people and letting them in, and in return, received a great deal of love. And I was amazed – I am STILL amazed 12 years later – that he actually encourages my quirkiness.
Had I not met him, I doubt very much that I would be writing this blog – or anything else – because I would be too afraid of what you (the reader) are thinking right now.
Sometimes we just need someone to give us permission to see ourselves in a positive light.
God is giving you permission! Blessedness is not a mood, but a state of being. Praise be for THAT!
It took a little longer for me to trust that God encourages our quirkiness, but I’m here to tell you, He does. He really does get tickled by the things that make us US.
It’s okay to have a voice.
In researching the subject of meekness, I came across a wonderful quote (and one that is, as far as I can tell, anonymous): “Meekness is not weakness, just strength under control.”
Meekness is not low self-esteem. To be meek is to know who you are, and not try to be more than that or less than that. But being who God says we are is so much better than who we could paint ourselves to be.
Human being < human doing.
And it is in the ‘being’ that we become content with who we are and find ourselves the proud owners of everything that can’t be bought…
Love among one another.
Strength under control – God’s control.
Intimacy with the Living God. If we are bestowed that, we have gained the whole world.