Did any of you ever dream of becoming a rock star as a young teen? I know I certainly did. The people we see on screen and on stage seem to have it all and to know they have it all. And it is this projection of towering self-esteem that seems to produce admiration and envy in others. Especially for young people working through insecurities, it can seem like being that famous or that talented or that popular would make us feel genuinely good about ourselves. For me, some of that has gone away, and some hasn’t. I don’t fantasize about being a movie star or a rock musician any more, but I do catch myself sometimes still daydreaming about doing something really impressive that others would admire. And then I feel a little embarrassed.
This week, I’ve been meditating on these words,
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
Jesus tells us that the people who actually have it all are those who don’t think overly much of themselves. It isn’t the rich, the powerful, the famous, or the glamorous that are on top of the world. It’s the meek - the people who aspire to none of these things but who are constantly aware that they might be wrong and looking to learn from others - those who look for ways to serve, build others up, and put others first - these people will inherit the earth.
What does it mean to inherit the earth? First of all, it is heirs who inherit. If someone has a large estate, that person’s heirs, typically their children, will eventually own the estate. Everything will be at their disposal, and they will have the power to do with it as they wish. Here we see that it is the meek - meaning those gentle and humble people who don’t think especially highly of themselves - who are God’s children and heirs and who will ultimately possess and rule all the earth. These are the ones who literally have it all, even if it doesn’t seem like it to us now.
Even if we don’t dream of fame or fortune, we can find ourselves in situations where there is pressure to try to impress others or strive for a seemingly important position, perhaps at work, at school, or even at church. It seems like the only way to achieve happiness is to project confidence and struggle to climb to the top. But this is all a temporary illusion. When we live to please or impress others, nothing is ever enough. We get more and more insecure, even if we look confident on the outside.
When I think about it this way, I realize that to be meek in the sense Jesus means it here is not to have low self-confidence but to have low self-importance. Those people who seem to me to be the most happy and comfortable with themselves are always those who have nothing to prove because they aren’t looking to impress anyone. I’ve been praying lately that I would be more and more like these people, and I pray you will be like them as well. In this way, not only will we gain happiness and true confidence in this life, but we will ultimately come into possession of all the earth.
Love in Christ,