Meekness is NOT Weakness!

Power is the moral principle of those who excel others.
– Beethoven

For someone who died in 1827, Beethoven would have fit perfectly in the culture of 2017. With each revolution of the earth it seems we grow increasingly more self-centered. We live in an “All about Us” environment and we want it yesterday. Patience is only a virtue when it concerns something we are not really interested in and being humble is something that we will proudly tell you about on our social media pages.

Is it any wonder that when we came to The Beatitudes in our study of The Cost of Discipleship, by Dietrich Bonhoeffer, that we would all get hung up on “Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.” (Matthew 5:5).

Being meek just doesn’t fit our picture of success, at least according to the world’s standards. Out of habit, even as followers of Christ, we default to a failed standard. When we come to a point where we are trying to understand something that God is trying to tell us, we run it through the prism of our understanding based on what the world has taught us. This prism distorts truth and calls us to question God in the same way He was questioned in the Garden. “Did He really say that?”

As followers of Christ we are called to understanding through the prism of Truth, which is Jesus, His Word and The Spirit. It is counter-cultural from what the world demands. Hence our struggle with meekness.

When we hear meekness we think weakness, cowardice, less than manly, loser and many other words that are completely wrong because we have used the wrong prism, the wrong standard. God tells us that His ways are not our ways and our ways are not His ways. Clearly this is evident when it comes to understanding what true meekness is and why we should strive for it in our lives.

Meekness is one of those mysterious virtues that we hardly even ponder. We may gossip that some blowhard is hardly humble, but we don’t think, ‘You know, what that guy needs is a little more meekness.’ Meekness sounds wimpy, almost negative. If someone’s meek, it sounds like they’re a pushover. A doormat. A wimp. But here’s the reality: true meekness exerts incredible power. Meekness is not weakness. Meekness is strength. It has softened hearts and toppled empires. It’s a power that can’t be countered.” – George A. Edgar.

Numbers 12:3 (KJV) says: “Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.” Can you imagine having that title in the world today? Can you imagine what social media would do to someone called the “meekest man on earth”? Do we consider Moses meek? Not really, even though scripture states it. So do we consider him weak? Again, not really. After all he confronted Pharaoh and led the people out of Egypt. But this meekness would benefit him in dealing with the people of Israel and in not being allowed to enter the Promised Land.

Moses didn’t just decide one day to be meek. It was a process that took time. He was raised in Pharaoh’s Court, you know that couldn’t have been a real place of meekness and humility. He would be banished for killing an Egyptian who was mistreating a Hebrew and spend 40 years in obscurity. That obscurity tending sheep would produce the meekness that would lead him to ask, “Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” (Exodus 3:11 NIV).

Meekness is Jesus

We believe that meekness is something we can choose to be or not to be as if we were making a choice in a buffet line. I’ll take some of this and some of that and I’ll take a little meekness on the side, don’t want people to think I’m not humble. That’s not the way Moses became meek and it’s not the way we will either. True meekness and humility are attributes gained in submission to God and His Will.

Meekness is power completely surrendered to God’s control.” John MacArthur.

The Hebrew word for meek is “anav” and can be translated “to be bowed down.” A Greek analogy of meekness is a horse that has been saddled and bridled. If you have been around horses, you know the power they have. Breaking a horse is no easy task, neither is breaking a human spirit of pride and arrogance. Maybe this is why we have struggled with understanding what it is to be meek. Are there places in our lives that we have not yet “bowed down” and submitted to God? Are there places we need to be broken? Whose yoke are you under?

Meekness is when you are in a position of strength and power – yet choose not to use that power against your opponent, our critic, your accuser, your prosecutor.”  Michael Yousef.

Bonhoeffer says that the meek are determined to leave their rights to God alone – non cupidi vindictae (not eager for revenge). The meek “show by every word and gesture that they do not belong to this earth.” Do your words and gestures show that you belong to this world? Or do they show you belong to God?
The ultimate example of meekness was Christ hanging on a cross he didn’t deserve, with the power to have stopped it at any time. In submission to the Father’s Will, He controlled His power and endured the cross for each one of us.
Seek to be meek and run to the Cross!

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