In Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus starts his public ministry with a sermon. Within this sermon he is painting a new image of the community, of those who are of worth, and the way of this kingdom, that is inbreaking through Jesus’ life. In a few concise statements, Jesus speaks of the blessedness of those who are on the outs—down on their luck, hurting and treated poorly.
The NRSV version speaks the lowly by saying,
“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.”
Yet, I prefer the CEV version more,
“Happy are people who are humble, because they will inherit the earth.”
I’ve never met a proud person who is content. Instead, they seemingly have an endless appetite for importance and power. They want to one-up others and ensure that people know how great they are. On the other hand, I’ve never met a humble person who isn’t happy, or free, or content. They dwell in the present moment at peace with where they are, and who they are. They don’t need to brag, or seek your approval. Instead, they have found that they have everything they need!
On that spectrum, most of us are somewhere between proud and humble. Yet, if we know that those who live in the way of humility are the ones we want to be like, why don’t we spend more time learning from, and emulating that way? Perhaps that would be the gift—to dwell in this place, knowing that we are the richest of all people, regardless of our investment statement, for we are the inheritors of the goodness of God.