Thursday, May 16, 2013

Meek is Mighty

One of the strangest virtues lauded by the Bible as one to be desired by a “fruit of the spirit” Christian is that of meekness.   A reason this is so can be attributed to our modern connotation of this word, which seems to be associated with cowardice, or weakness, or to use a slang phrase, to be a “namby-pamby”.  This probably originates due to the popular idiom “as meek as a mouse”.  As such, our society does not place a premium on meekness because it is not in line with what is identified as “the American way”.  Although Jesus included this attribute along with the other Beatitudes in His Sermon on the Mount, encouraging those who heard Him that “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth”, it seems our cultural philosophy of the day is “blessed are the muscle men”, or “blessed are the money men” or “blessed are the powerful men”; not blessed are the meek men.

However, the Biblical connotation of meekness is completely antithetical with our modern perceptions.  The Biblical model of meekness is someone who has great spiritual fortitude, someone who will stand on his principles, who knows what he believes and will not waver to popular opinion, but who does so without arrogance or cockiness (see 1 Peter 3:15).  Jesus, of course, demonstrates this quality most definitively, as He was meek, yet He obviously possessed great strength.  So, meekness from a biblical perspective essentially means to be strong in purpose, to be confident in your beliefs, but to maintain self control and not resort to mean-spiritedness when confronted.

Although I am by no means a television addict as I rarely sit down and watch a program from start to finish, there are times where I will “veg-out” to enjoy a program which I find entertaining.  A few years back there was a series I would watch on occasion, “Walker, Texas Ranger”, a quintessential (and somewhat hokey) “good guys vs. bad guys” show whose star was Chuck Norris, a popular martial arts expert.  He once told of a time while filming his TV series in Texas where he had stopped at a restaurant for dinner. He was relaxing in his corner booth when a large man came up to him and informed Norris he was sitting in “his booth”.  Without hesitation, Norris simply got up and moved to another booth.  A few minutes later the guy came to see Norris again and asked, “Are you Chuck Norris?”  Norris nodded he was.  The stranger, rather astonished by this revelation, said ”You could have whipped me easily.  Why didn’t you?”  To which Norris replied, “It would have proved nothing.”  He shook the man’s hand and had made a friend.  I relate this story as I believe it is a perfect application of meekness in action!

Few people are aware that before The Revolutionary War, our forefathers initially attempted to resolve their differences with Great Britain through peaceful means.   They were confident in the rightness of their cause, and would not waver in their pursuit of liberty, but they did not resort to violent means immediately.  They exhibited true meekness in this manner.

In short, meekness does not equate with weakness; meekness means to be purposeful, but under control.  For the Christian, that means yielding our lives to the Master, and being “Under His control”.  When we do that we become blessed beyond measure.
See ya Sunday!

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