Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
(Matthew 5:5 | NIV)
You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought.
(Matthew 5:5 | The Message)
Google defines the word “meek” as quiet, gentle, and easily imposed on; submissive. It’s closely related to humility. We have a hard time with those words in our society. It’s a shame that meek rhymes with weak – because that’s not what it means. It’s a shame that humble and humiliation share the same root. We associate humility and meekness with weakness and fragility.
A Clydesdale may be meek and submissive, but that in no way means he’s weak or fragile. To be meek is to harness your power, to control your strength, and not to impose your will on others by force.
Again, it’s closely tied to humility. To be humble is not to think less of yourself, but to think of yourself less.
I always find this line from the Book of Numbers amusing:
Now Moses was a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth.
Irony is bragging about how humble someone is. But we all know people like this. We all know people who would give you the shirt of their backs. They would open their home for a dinner party in a moment’s notice. They would drop everything they’re doing to help you out of a bad situation.
These people, in Enneagram language, are called The Helpers. They are Enneagram Type Twos. They are driven by a need to be needed. They want other people to call on them for help. They are gracious hosts, warm and inviting to strangers, and generally pleasant to be around.
But while they often put on a humble, meek exterior, an attitude of pride is lurking just below the surface. This pride leaks out when they feel unappreciated or taken for granted. They can become indignant when they help someone out and don’t get a Thank You in return. If their actions go unnoticed, it can drive a Two crazy to the point of burnout. Think back to the story of Mary and Martha in Luke 11. Martha is slaving away in the kitchen while her sister is sitting at Jesus’ feet with the other disciples. Martha gets angry and tells Jesus to tell Mary to help her.
Pride and humility are two sides of the same coin. Humility can be easy to fake, but when tested the pride will almost always reveal itself.
Ironically, for a Helper to become healthier they need to spend more time focusing on themselves. The pride that’s hidden below the meek facade is fed by praise, acknowledgement, and by being needed. Twos actually need to starve that pride by learning to say no to others and setting boundaries. When Twos are able to starve their pride and get free from the trappings of outward validation, then they can become truly healthy and happy Helpers, who serve not from a place of pride but from genuine humility.
Or as Peterson words it in The Message:
You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less.
When Twos are able to live out of a place of genuine humility, they find within themselves the love and acceptance they always craved from outside sources. They no longer need to be needed with no regard to their own needs. Rather, they can now find ways to fill their own cup so they have something more to pour into others.
Why do you think it’s so easy for pride to hide below the surface of humility?
What is the more genuine display of humility: refusing to ask for help or making your needs known? Or letting others know what you need and how they can help?
What do Twos (Helpers) gain by embracing true humility?