Meekness. What exactly does it mean? For years, I would often hear that word in the context of sermons but didn’t truly understand its meaning. One day, in my quest to grow deeper in the LORD, I humbly asked the Holy Spirit to help me and to show me what my feeble and finite mind could not grasp.
Immediately, I turned to the famous discourse of Christ Jesus as captured in Matthew, Chapter 5. Commonly known as “The Beatitudes,” this portion of Scripture has easily become one of my favorites and one that I find myself turning to on a very regular basis.
The Beatitudes are so extraordinary and revolutionary to worldly thinking. It’s one of the many reasons that I love Christ Jesus, because His ways and thoughts are so far beyond ours.
On the mount, Christ Jesus is speaking with the Jews. Now, the Jews were “sick and tired of being sick and tired.” They were under the oppression and bondage of Rome. And, they hated it! All of the Jewish sects, including the Pharisees (religious conservatives), Sadducees (religious liberals), Zealots (political activists) and the Essenes (mystics), yearned for independence.
With Jesus, they heard how He had come into Galilee preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God and working miracles and wonders. And now, the Jews contemplated, maybe He is the awaited Messiah. Finally, they thought they finally overthrow Rome. And, then Jesus speaks about being “poor in spirit” and “meek.” Seriously? Yes, it was so counterintuitive to their thinking.
Still today, our world equates happiness with strength, self-confidence, pride and power. But, Christ Jesus says be meek! Are you meek? Let’s look at four characteristics of being meek.
1. Mild and gentle
Meekness is simply power under control. Proverbs 25:28 states that “He that hath no rule over his spirit is like a city that is broken down and without walls.” When people observe you and/or interact with you, do they see someone who is mild, gentle, patient and kind? Or, do they see someone who is consistently abrasive, rude and angry?
2. Defends God and not themselves
Christ Jesus – how amazing He is! We see over and over in the Word of God how He was accused, mocked and reviled. Yet, He never defended Himself! When He suffered, he didn’t threaten or seek revenge. But, we do see how He defended His Father’s temple when they were desecrating it. Meekness “says” that I will not spend time trying to defend my own holiness and trying to defend every little thing done to me, but I will passionately defend the holiness of God.
3. Delight in God and not themselves
When you are “poor in spirit” and mourn over sin, you begin to die to self. When you die to self, you stand before God in meekness and humility, because you realize that you don’t deserve anything. Do you delight in God and His Word or do you spend more time commending yourself?
4. Full of joy
Well, of course, the Word of God says that the meek shall inherit the earth. But, first, the Word mentions that the meek shall be blessed! Of course, it is somewhat commonplace to hear the interchangeable term “happy,” when discussing this portion of Scripture. But, I prefer the proper interpretation of “abiding joy” as opposed to “circumstantial happiness.” Are you full of consistent joy or do you experience the never-ending roller coaster ride of worldly happiness?
Meekness is such an essential part of going deeper in your relationship with the LORD. See Psalm 149:4, James 1:21, 1 Peter 3:15, 1 Peter 3:4, 2 Timothy 2:25, Psalm 37, Titus 3:2, Psalm 147:6, and Isaiah 29:19 for additional reference.
Until next time, “Worship More. Live Better.”