Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
Meekness is not a popular quality. The world calls it a craven spirit that leads a man to remain quiet under insult, to endure a wrong without resentment, to be treated unkindly and then to give kindness in return, Men of the world say that this disposition is unmanly, that it shows weakness, cowardice, a lack of spirit.
So it might be if we went to Plutarch’s Lives for our models of manliness. But we have a truer, a diviner example for our pattern of manliness than any that this world has produced. Jesus Christ was the only perfect man that ever lived on the earth, and meekness was one of the noblest qualities of his character. He was gentle in disposition, not easily provoked, patient under wrong, silent under reproach. “When he was reviled, he reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not.” Possessing all power, he never lifted a finger to avenge a personal injury. He answered with tender love all man’s wrath; and on his cross, when the blood was flowing, he prayed for his murderers.
Meekness is then no craven spirit, since in Christ Jesus it shone so luminously. It is divine to forgive those who have wronged us, to bear long with those who treat us ill, to give the soft answer that turneth away wrath, to bathe in the fragrance of love the hand that smites, to render always blessing for cursing, good for evil. The lesson is hard to learn, for it is directly against nature; we can learn it only as our lives are transformed into the divine image, only as Christ enters into our hearts and dwells there.
This beatitude shows, too, that meekness is not an impoverishing grace. The meek shall inherit the earth. Those who commit their lives to God, who judgeth righteously, and leave to him the adjustment of the inequalities of human treatment received by them, do not suffer in the end.