Meekness Is Not Weakness
In the animal kingdom, the weak become the prey: those animals that are not strong to defend themselves, the ones that cannot run the fastest, the ones that are young and inexperienced, and the ones that are old and too weak, those are the ones that get eaten up. It’s not much different in our human world too; those that are assertive, aggressive, strong, bold and confident are the ones that triumph, and those that are submissive, peaceful, modest and timid are the ones that are taken advantage of, bullied, oppressed, passed off, overlooked and neglected.
In God’s Kingdom it is just the opposite, it is the meek that is blessed. He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble his way (Psalms 25:9). God grace is upon those that humble themselves, He lifts them up. Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time (1 Peter 5:6).
Meekness is something that is generally misunderstood and therefore rarely practiced. In a world of the survival of the fittest and the arrogant, there is no place for meekness. Everyone, in order to survive, according to the world’s standards, does not embrace humility. Most people think of meekness as a weakness and avoid it, instead of practicing it.
Meekness, from the outward, may appear as a sign of weakness, but it is far from it. Meekness is strength in control. Meekness is not a lack of will-power, it is not uncertainty, it is not timidity, it is not fainthearted, it is not cowardice, it is not introverted, it is not a compromise, it is not lack of confidence or being a door-mat for others to trample on, neither is it lack of conviction.
Meekness means to be gentle, humble and considerate. It means to be yielding, to be pliable, teachable and to be broken. It can be compared to a wild stallion that will fight with aggression and is dangerous, but when tamed, it is broken and yields to its master. It has the same power and strength it had in the wild, but now because it is meek, it uses its power under control.
Meekness can be compared to the gentle cool evening breeze that is so refreshing, but when it is out of control, it is a devastating hurricane that can destroy everything in sight. For a Christian, meekness is dying to oneself, one’s own agenda, one’s desires and ambitions and surrendering totally to God. Meekness is yielding completely to God and His will.
People fear to yield because they fear to be taken advantage of and be oppressed. But if a person yields to a master who has their best interest in mind, who loves them dearly, who rewards them for yielding, obeying and being meek, who has laid down His own life for their sake, then there is nothing to fear. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love (1 John 4:18).
Meekness is refusing to get offended when mistreated. It is to refuse to take revenge and act negatively to any transgressions. When we totally depend on God for our defence and our rescue, He will intervene in our situation and protect us and rescue us.
Moses was the meekest man in all the earth, since he did not take any personal offence when his sister and brother offended him. Miriam and Aaron began to talk against Moses because of his Cushite wife, for he had married a Cushite. “Has the Lord spoken only through Moses?” they asked. “Hasn’t he also spoken through us?” And the Lord heard this. Now Moses was a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth. (Numbers 12:1-3). Instead of crying out to God for vengeance, Moses interceded for Miriam when she was stricken with leprosy as a result of the negative words she spoke. So Moses cried out to the LORD, “Please, God, heal her!” (Numbers 12:13).
Moses was a great leader, he was not weak. When he came down the mountain with the Ten Commandments, he was angry at the orgy that was happening at the bottom of the mountain. He threw down the tablets at their idolatry. Moses was angry when God’s reputation and name was dishonoured and retaliated. But he did not get angry or take revenge when he was personally offended by his siblings, but instead forgave them and he prayed for his afflicted sister.
Jesus Christ is called ‘meek and humble’ in heart. He submitted himself fully to the will of His Father, and willingly died on the cross to save us. He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth (Isaiah 53:7).
Jesus remained silent when he was oppressed, tortured and killed, because it was the will of His Father. But when people dishonoured His Father’s house, He was angry and He overturned their tables and whipped them and drove them out of the temple. Meekness is standing up in defence of the truth and being zealous for God and submitting one’s life totally in the hands of God, who will stand in defence of you.
Meekness at times may mean enduring an offense and remaining silent. At other times it may mean being bold to speak the truth in love. One needs wisdom to discern how to be meek. In fact meekness and wisdom are very closely related. You cannot be meek without being wise and you cannot have wisdom if you are not meek. But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere (James 3:17). Look at the qualities of wisdom, they are the very same qualities required for meekness; pure, peace-loving, considerate, submissive, mercy, etc.
Jesus remained silent when it was God’s will for Him to suffer willingly, but He rebuked the Pharisees who were hypocrites by calling them snakes and a brood of vipers. “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside, but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean (Matthew 23:27).
Likewise, there may be times when you may have to confront or rebuke someone. “If another believer sins against you, go privately and point out the offense. If the other person listens and confesses it, you have won that person back (Matthew 18:15). Rebuke or confrontation is not done to take revenge, but to lead the other believer in the path of righteousness. It is done for the sake of winning the person over by correcting them with the truth and for the purpose of establishing peace and not for the sake of giving the offender a piece of your mind.
Therefore confronting or correcting the offender should be done with the correct motives and for the best interest of the other person. With all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace (Ephesians 4:2-3). God cares about us and therefore He corrects us and rebukes us. Because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son (Hebrews 12:6).
How then can one obtain meekness? This you know, my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God. Therefore, putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls (James 1:19-21).
The qualities of meekness is to be attentive, quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger. In other words, this person is reasoning and is careful of what he is going to say. He is taking the time to make the right decision, to choose the right words. He is acting with wisdom and not like a fool who gives into provocation. He is like the trained stallion that has its strength under control. He is not aggravated by the offence. He is walking in righteousness with God, which means he is not getting involved in any filthiness or wickedness. He acts in total submission to the will of God, whether it is to remain silent or to speak with gentleness and love. He receives with obedience the word implanted in him by The Holy Spirit, which is also the necessity for salvation. Meekness is essential for a person to be saved.
Are you saved? Would you call yourself a meek person? Would you want to be a meek person? Anything done in obedience to God never goes unrewarded. “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth (Matthew 5:5). It means you will be rewarded in this life on earth and also attain an eternal blessing in heaven (the new earth). It’s nice to have some real estate in heaven. After all, you’ll be spending your eternity there and all it takes is meekness.
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