The Joy of Meekness
Have you ever had the opportunity to boast about something you accomplished, but you remained silent? I heard of a man one day who was going through some old things in his attic that belonged to his grandfather. He had known his grandfather had served in the second world war, but beyond that, he did not know much else. After his grandfather passed away, he was looking through several of his personal items leftover from his time in the war. He ended up finding a small case full of distinguished service medals for bravery. His grandfather had earned several medals for bravery in combat though never told anyone. The grandmother of the man told him that the medals never meant much to her husband because he thought he was just doing his job and that other people had given far more than him.
This example of humility bears many similarities to our Christian walk. Our Lord said this about meekness in His Sermon on the Mount:
“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”
Meekness is defined as being humbly patient or obediently submissive. Oftentimes meekness looks a lot like weakness in a world consumed with power, advantage, and self-preservation. Our natural tendencies do not desire to be looked upon as being unable or dependent upon someone else. We are hardwired to be headstrong and act in the most efficient, effective, and least time-consuming manner so we can succeed. Biblical meekness is not about weakness or inability. Many people are highly gifted and skilled in many areas where they can boast in themselves and their efforts. In this passage, the Lord is calling us to recognize the gifts and abilities that He gave to us and then humbly steward them without boasting and using them for selfish ambition.
Meekness is the response of our hearts when we encounter the Lord in our lives. This is most evident in the life of Moses. Here is a brief detail about Moses that the Scriptures gives us.
“Now the man Moses was very meek, more than all people who were on the face of the earth.”
Moses was able to interact with the Lord firsthand throughout his life. First at the burning bush, next in the great exodus, and then on Mt. Sinai where the Lord engraved His commandments on stone tablets in the presence of Moses. Moses came down from that mountain having been the only man on the face of the earth to have a revelation of God so intimate. The result of this encounter was meekness. When the Lord works in our lives in powerful and merciful ways through His grace, our response is the ability to humble ourselves and realize that we are nothing before Him, even though we might have great talents, abilities, or experiences.
Like Moses, we can access and experience the grace of God through Christ in our lives firsthand. All of our giftings, talents, strengths, and passions that the Lord gave us can be used to glorify the Giver of these gifts and not the possessor of the gifts. That is what meekness is: having the ability to glory in ourselves and attain praise but giving it to God instead. When we do this, we will find joy because it is greater to give praise than receive it.
We should not forget the powerful promise that the Lord attaches to this meekness. The reward is inheriting the earth and sharing in the authority of Christ as an heir of His Dominion. This reward is infinitely more majestic than the actions of meekness. It also seems contradictory to our human nature. We often think the strong and the proud should reap the benefits of authority and conquest, but in Christ’s Kingdom, He shares it with the most humble and meek. Hopefully, we can keep these things in mind as we travel along this winding road towards Heaven called life to make sure that we do not glory in ourselves, but glory in what the Lord has done in us.
*This blog was written by Tucker McDonald, who is the teaching assistant at the University of South Alabama Wesley Foundation.