THE MESSAGE ON THE ROADSIDE MARQUEE GOT MY ATTENTION: "Everyone who wants to be first must first be last, and the servant of all." Since my commute to work took me past this church every day, I'd often made a point of noting the topic for the upcoming Sunday service. But this week's subject sparked my interest more than usual. Simple but profound, it echoed what I'd discovered to be a theme throughout the Bible: that those who express selflessness, charity, and compassion will be blessed—and live full and rewarding lives. Yet it also reminded me of a quandary I was in over the whole concept of meekness.
I knew, at least from a Biblical standpoint, that meekness was an important quality. After all, the Beatitudes Jesus gave his followers in the Sermon on the Mount contain the following promise: "Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth." Matt. 5:5. But that was then, I thought, this is now. And, hard as I tried, I just couldn't seem to reconcile the idea of meekness to the contemporary realities of the world around me.
From a business perspective, humility is anything but in. I've worked in a number of corporate jobs, and the people who get promoted are often far from what I consider meek. In fact, the whole notion of humility just didn't appear to have any practical relevance to modern-day life in general, since self-assertiveness, aggressiveness, overconfidence, personal ambition, and drive often seem to dictate who gets ahead—and who gets left behind.