Saturday, February 19, 2011

The Survival of the Meekest

A wise and Godly man once encouraged his readers to think positively, to dwell on excellent and pure things, to ponder righteous deeds, to praise generosity and celebrate goodness and kindness.

This man, Paul, was a follower of arguably the most influential figure in history, Jesus Christ. In perhaps his most famous sermon, the one on the Mount, Jesus told his audience that the meek would inherit the earth. Jesus disappointed many people with his talk of meeknessweakness because they wanted strength. They wanted displays of divine power, they wanted direct intervention to relive their suffering.

The so called Enlightened One, a.k.a. Buddha, correctly identified suffering as a universal characteristic of human existence. He was also right, at least partially, in saying that suffering comes from desire. Jesus clarified the issue by pointing out that war has its origins in illicit desire, and that much suffering in this world results from individuals desiring things they shouldn't and suing whatever means they deem necessary to satisfy their lust. Greed is, nine times out of ten, bad.

People who believe in a personal God, expect that deity to help them, to bless them, to rescue them from danger, to alleviate their suffering. These people know, however, that their God does not usually step in to fight their battles. This adds to their pain and in some instances causes them to attempt all manner of "home remedies" and some of these cures are worse than the disease. Desperate times may require desperate measures but do we have the strength to fight and be victorious in all these battles.Are we strong enough in our selves to overcome all our suffering?

From Darwinism comes the adage "survival of the fittest". If you are strong you will make it through, if you are weak you will die. The strong prey upon the weak in this dog eat dog world. Dog eat dog doesn't exactly conjure up pleasant images in my mind. I see nothing admirable or excellent in people devouring one another for personal gain. The kind of self reliant strength which often gets labelled as the allegedly indomitable human spirit is not worthy of exultation, nor is it true strength.

True strength is in weakness, in the confession of dependence, in the forgiveness of failure in yourself, and the acceptance of it in others. In humility, or meekness as Jesus said. It was Paul again, who noted that God's power was made perfect in Paul's weakness. Embrace weakness and brokenness, humble yourself and be truly strong.

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