A Lesson on Self-Control “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth” (Matthew 5:5). What do you think of when you hear the word meek? Many think of the meek person as a doormat, a wimp, or a weakling. Yet, Jesus insists that it is the meek who will inherit the earth. Some explaining is needed. Meekness is not weakness. To think of Jesus himself as only “gentle Jesus, meek and mild” is to forget that the author of these words is the same one who braided a whip, overturned the tables, and drove moneychangers from the temple. To see meekness as weakness ignores the courage of the early church and the blood of Christian martyrs. Meekness is best understood as strength under control. Paul identifies it as a “fruit of the Spirit.” The word was once used to describe a wild animal that had been tamed. Don’t think of a dog begging for crumbs, but a thoroughbred winning the Kentucky Derby! The Bible reveals that we are either out-of-control, under the control of someone else, exercising self-control, or controlled by the Spirit of God. Meekness is quiet but strong submission to the will of God, empowering us to live a genuinely Christian life. Meekness can lead us to inheritance. The idea of the meek inheriting the earth originally comes from Psalm 37:11. The writer of Ecclesiastes discovered that there are lots of ways to “inherit the wind.” He did not find meaning in wisdom, possessions, personal accomplishment, or pleasure. There is just one way to inherit the earth, and that is following the example of Jesus and yielding one’s life to the wisdom, way, and will of God. Both Jesus and the Psalmist are in agreement, though it sounds strange to us, “The meek shall inherit the earth.” Who is it that claims an inheritance? It is the child – the heir – the one named in the will? The promise and blessing of this beatitude is to be realized in a relationship with Jesus Christ, who makes us children and heirs of God. Now that’s a blessing. Dr. Faught is Pastor of The LaFollette United Methodist Church.