Losing at Monopoly: Blessed Are the Meek
By Scott Bessenecker
What if there were secret rules to the game of Monopoly, hidden to the greedy, the arrogant and the power-hungry? What if things like giving away property, loaning money at low interest rates, redistributing property when things got too lopsided or lowering rent for those who couldn’t afford to land on your space were actions that were recorded and honored?
What if love and meekness could be measured and remembered, and all those who had lost the dog-eat-dog version of Monopoly or been ridiculed because of their servile attitude of submission were put in charge of a new iteration of the game?
The hope for the world lies in meekness. Jesus said, “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth” (Matthew 5:5). The reason that the meek will inherit the earth is that they are naturally disposed to use power in the way it was designed by God to be used—as a guard for the weak and to preserve the common good—in contrast to those with Monopoly power, who consolidate wealth and status in a single set of hands at the expense of everyone else. Notice that the beatitude from Matthew 5 does not say that the meek will conquer the earth or take over the earth. They will inherit it. It’s a trust given to them by their Father.
The reason that the meek will inherit the earth is that they are naturally disposed to use power in the way it was designed by God to be used—as a guard for the weak and to preserve the common good.
The meek are those working for land rights for the poor, loaning them their voice and standing up to the powers-that-be at great personal cost. These are not spineless wimps. They are people of courage, full of peace in difficult days because they know something that the corrupt men and women in power do not know. Namely, that it is the meek, not the corrupt, who will inherit the earth.
A life lived in simplicity, humility and obscurity will be a very handy asset at the end of the game when God is looking for meek people to put in charge. The rich and famous who wield worldly power will be at a distinct disadvantage. Possessing disproportionate control in this world through the use of money, fame and power has a tendency to kill meekness in a person.
I’m not saying you can’t be rich, powerful, famous and meek. I’m just saying it’s hard, like trying to push a camel through a needle’s eye. The possessor of money, fame or power can easily slip into imagining himself or herself to be more important than those who do not possess such things, and try as they might to beat ego down, they find themselves tangled up in pride.
Scott A. Bessenecker is Associate Director for Missions for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship and author of several books. He sends more than 3,000 students each year on short-term mission experiences in a number of urban poor locations around the world.
This text is taken from chapter one, “Subverting Monopoly Through Meekness,” of How to Inherit the Earth: Submitting Ourselves to a Servant Savior by Scott A. Bessenecker. Copyright 2009 by Scott A. Bessenecker. Used by permission of InterVarsity Press, P.O. Box 1400, Downers Grove, IL 60515, USA.