Welcome to “Athlos” a weekly blog which examines pillars of personal excellence and regularly brings together the worlds of Christian spirituality and sport.
“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth”-Matthew 5:5
This year I have been spending time reading and reflecting on various Beatitudes, a well-known set of character-centred principles that Jesus taught in his famous “Sermon on the Mount”. The spiritual community where I belong has also been studying these fascinating themes together in 2023.
Most recently, we considered the third Beatitude, cited above in Matthew 5:5. It speaks of meekness, which is one of the English terms that bible scholars have used to translate the Greek word, praus. In other parts of Scripture, praus means gentle or humble. The idea is that the meek person maintains a posture of calmness and poise even when a more aggressive response may be a legitimate option. Authors like G. Steve Kinnard and others have coined the following wonderfully succinct definition of meekness: “Power or strength under control.”
To be meek is to have strength. It is not cowardice, timidity or weakness. Rather, it is a deliberate and careful management of the power that is available to you. It is a quality we need as parents, athletes, politicians, employers and spiritual leaders. This is what makes Jesus’ journey to the cross so amazing. In the face of mocking and unjust accusations, he decided to be praus. He had access to divine rescue and angelic support, yet he often chose silence. It was the need of the hour.
There were other occasions when Jesus spoke up powerfully, confronted sin or exposed hypocrisy. However, a deep-seated love for a broken humanity caused him to embrace injustice and refuse retaliation. The way of the cross is the way of meekness. Jesus kept his power under control. Two thousand years later, millions around the world can still celebrate his grace at this time of the year. Blessed are the meek. They shall inherit the earth.
One historic act of meekness changed the world forever.
If you were inspired by this blog, please consider sharing it with one other person today. To learn more about these and other related themes that promote the cultivation of an integrated inner self, read UNBEATABLE! which is available on Amazon in print and as an e-book