Meekness is often characterized by many Christians as weakness. A careful study of the definition and Scriptural passages dispel this thought.
Meekness is defined as, “Softness of temper; mildness, gentleness; forbearance under injury and provocations. In an evangelical sense, humility; resignation; submission to the divine will, without murmuring or peevishness; opposed to pride, arrogance and refractoriness. Meekness is a grace which Jesus alone inculcated, and which no ancient philosopher seems to have understood or recommended.” (An American Dictionary of the English Language, 1841, volume 2, page 115, Noah Webster)
JESUS IS OUR EXAMPLE
- Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. (Matthew 11:29)
- For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:22 Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth:23 Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: (1 Peter 2:21-23)
Jesus was reviled, persecuted, and shamed through His whole three year ministry. Only twice do we see Him get angry, when he cast the money changers at the Temple. Otherwise, Jesus always had emotions under control.
What about us?
- SEEK Seek ye the LORD, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the LORD’S anger. (Zephaniah 2:3)
- PUT ON Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; 13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. (Colossians 3:12-13)
- RECEIVE THE WORD Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. (James 1:21)
- ANSWER FOR THE HOPE But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: (1 Peter 3:15)
- SHOW TO ALL MEN To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men. (Titus 3:2)
- RESTORE THE ERRING ONE Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. (Galatians 6:1)
Please meditate on these verses. As we do, think about how we interact with other people. Specifically, when we have been wronged. Do we get angry, mad, bitter, or vengeful? Does our speech betray us? Do we speak evil of others? Then look at Jesus. He suffered and died on the cross for us. Did He do anything wrong?
Tomorrow we shall look at the benefits of being meek.
Tom Stearns, WASI Chaplain, 907 715-4001