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The character of great, powerful, effective men 

"Blessed are the meek ['Praus'] for they will inherit the Earth"

Jesus - Matthew 5:5

"Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth".

That's the extraordinary promise Jesus gave us in the Sermon on the Mount.  

If you are gentle, the earth will belong to you.   If you are meek, the world is yours.  If, by your very nature, you are tender-hearted then you will lead the world, it will not lead you.  Oh, what power the gentle-man has, Jesus says. 


Stop and be honest with yourself for a second though. Do you really, in your heart of hearts, believe Jesus when he says that? 


There are two good reasons why you may not:

1.  In this world, meekness = weakness 

In fact, by its very definition the word 'meek' means 'to be easily imposed upon and submissive'.  

Meek men don't stand up for themselves or others.  They run from confrontation, even when it is needed to end injustice.  They are timid, cowering in the face of challenges.  Cruelly, the meek are compared to 'door-mats'.  Rather than being powerful, they tend to give their power away.  


Surely, Jesus cannot be saying such men will inherit the earth?     

2.  The powerful men on this earth are the very opposite of meek. 

Real men - or so the world says - are aggressive, go-getters.  They are the loudest in a crowded room.  They trample over the weak, kick-down doors and are ruthless in order to be successful.  Along the way, they have been anything but gentle.  Yet, society celebrates these traits, making kings of the men who demonstrate them.  We promote them, we give them power and influence, and we let them shape our world. 

Far cry from meek men inheriting the earth, it's the domineering who are leading it.  

So, what is going on here?  Was Jesus really advocating that the world belongs to timid, submissive men?  Of course not.  Paul tells us that 'God did not give us a spirit of timidity but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline' (2 Timothy 1:7).  Yet, the average western church has defined good Christian men as being ‘nice guys’.  We ask our men to be the socks and sandals type: meek, mild-mannered, well-read, nice men who wouldn’t say boo to a goose.  That is not what Jesus intended. 

The world selects its leaders very differently - preferring highly charismatic, aggressive, driven men who will stop at nothing to achieve their version of success (not all of course).  But we have seen where that gets the world - both in the Bible and thereafter - financial crashes, wars, famines, climate emergencies and so on.  Certainly, this was not God's will either.  

So what went wrong?  Well, the answer lies in the simple fact that our our western culture  hasn't understood the true meaning and origin of the word used by Jesus in Matthew 5:5.   That's because our English language does not have an adequate word to translate it.  The early Greek translation for the type of gentleness Jesus was describing was 'praus', which has a very unique meaning.  We settled for 'meek'. 

Oh, what a different world we would live in if the majority of men pursued 'praus' character. Nations would prosper, communities would thrive, wives would flourish and children would bloom.    So let's get into it what Praus means.  


Blessed are the praus men for they will inherit the earth. 




For too long, the world has taught us that meek = weak. That's because our western culture hasn't understood the true meaning and origin of the word used by Jesus.  If they did, all men would aspire to meekness, such is its power. 

​In the early Greek translation, that word was 'Praus', and it was most commonly used by the warriors of Ancient Greece to describe the process of taming wild horses and transforming them into ‘war horses’. 

In their wild state, these horses were physically impressive, but their strength and power was used recklessly.  They were slaves to their emotion, making them aimless and needlessly aggressive.  

To turn them into war horses, the Greek warriors put them through a rigorous conditioning process.  Very few came out the other side.  Some died, others broke down.  All but a remarkable minority failed to master their emotion, leaving them unable to control their great strength and power.

The elite minority of horses who became a war horse, were  described as – you guessed it - 'praus' or 'meek'.  

​The praus horse was just as strong, powerful, fast, fearless and impressive as it was in its former wild state.  But now it had all of this immense strength under control.  All of its power was bottled up and used for a greater purpose


Revered and respected by the toughest of warriors, these horses channelled their immense power at the slightest touch of their rider.  

The praus horse was a brave, courageous, fearless beast, that performed incredible feats for their master.  Wars were won on their backs.  These horses stood apart from their peers, distinguished by the fact they learned to master themselves, bringing all of their immense strength and power under control.  

That’s what Jesus meant when he said, "blessed are the meek".  He wasn’t telling people to lie down and take abuse.  He wasn’t telling people to be ‘door-mats’.  He wasn’t demanding people remain silent in the face of injustice.  He was telling us that the world would belong to the remarkable few that managed to control their power and use it in a way that brought the Kingdom to any situation. 

That’s why the Praus movement exists.  To develop great men with immense strength, contained and controlled for the betterment of others. 


Blessed are those gentle-men, for they will inherit the earth. 

"I am gentle ['Praus'] and lowly in heart"

Jesus - Matthew 11:29

The most praus man of all

In the four gospel accounts - 89 chapters of biblical text - there is only one place where Jesus tells us about his own heart.  

The heart is an intimate thing.  It is the very epicentre of who we are.  Its our emotions, yet also so much more.  It defines us, direct us, and encompasses our passions, motivations and reasons for getting up off the floor when crushing disappointments come our way.  The heart in biblical terms, is not a part of who we are but rather the very centre of our being.  

Jesus could have chosen any word to describe his heart - "joyful and kind", "exhalted and strong", "powerful and loving" - but instead he said this: 

"Come to me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yolk is easy and my burden is light" - Matthew 11:28-30 

When Jesus shares who he is at the very centre of his being - who he is at his deepest levels - he uses the words gentle and humble.   

The Greek word used to translate this gentleness is, of course, praus.  Only one other person in the bible was labelled 'praus', and that was Moses.  It is only used three more times in the entire New Testament (including Matthew 5:5).  

Do you want to be more like Jesus?  Pursue gentleness - not just as a response but as a characteristic that embodies the very centre of who you are as a man.  Then, God will give you the earth. 

"He [David] led with a pure heart and skilled hands"

Psalm 78:72

The Praus Formula

Skilled hands

Every man has a unique set of strengths (gifts & skills).  A praus man embraces them, and continuously improves them to become a master of their craft.  This gives them great strength and power, which they use for the betterment of others. 


Pure heart

A highly skilled man without a pure heart uses their power for their own benefit coming at a great cost to those they are responsible for.  They are controlled by their power.  In contrast, a praus man has a gentle, kind, pure heart which enables them to have control of their power, and using it for the betterment of others.


Praus man

A man with a pure heart and skilled hand will inherit the earth. He can be trusted by God to be a king who makes the world a better place for his family, friends, church, community, nation.  Such men lead fulfilling lives.


Praus men really do inherit the earth

Some of the greatest, most effective men in history demonstrated praus character on a consistent basis.  Here are a few examples.

Praus in action

You can see praus character resulting in success everywhere you look, including Sports.

The Praus Movement

Group of climbers reaching the Everest summit in Nepal. .jpg

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