You ever had one of those bristly conversations that raise your blood pressure and leave you scratching your head? You are blindsided by a person that is accusing you of something you had zero clues you had done… or even if you had done it... you’re pretty sure you hadn’t... or maybe you did? These encounters, amongst many other unwanted-types, set off our deeply rooted defense mechanisms with one clear message, protect "self!"
Lots of self-protective thoughts swarm around in your mind in those moments. But ones that typically don't are to be silent, to remain humble, to seek to understand, to... eek... yield.
“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”
Meekness flies in the face of our flesh, the world, and certainly the devil. What worldly messages are being screamed from the rooftops right now? "Demand your rights, and get what’s owed to you." "Defend yourself and fight for your cause no matter the cost." We Christians are not exempt from picking up these loudly-voiced mantras and embracing them for ourselves. The problem is, they are not the attitude Christ is looking for.
Meekness is the absolute antithesis of self.
It is to not be sensitive of self.
The first two beatitudes are inward works and progress one into the other, which naturally leads to the following ones. There is a progression here; meekness doesn't happen haphazardly.
When we acknowledge our spiritual poverty before God we are stripped of pride - it humbles us.
When we see the truth about ourselves and mourn over our collusion with sin and careless indifference - it humbles us.
Meekness is a byproduct of a contrite heart that recognizes its need for a Savior - daily - and is amazed at the goodness of God. When we stay in a place of humility, meekness follows. I cannot give a 3-step process of how to be meek because the attitude stems from the previous two beatitudes, but I can offer what it will mean.
Meekness will mean we view ourselves soberly and from a Biblical mindset. I’m pretty good at calling myself a “sinner,” but not so good when another calls it out (especially my spouse!). How about you?
When I am slighted, how do I handle it? If I puff up my chest and go to work protecting my precious ego, then what follows typically isn’t very pretty and I end up having to repent later down the road. But, we can avoid that path and Jesus gives us clear direction… be meek.
To understand the word "meek" is to hyphenate it...
"It is... Me - eek."
Chuck Smith Jr.
Meekness means serving a new master - and a sweet One at that – rather than self. It has strength but that strength is yielded to God and His purposes. Like a stallion that listens to its trainer and therefore exhibits true power. It isn’t boastful or pushy, arrogant nor demanding. Meekness yields.
Meekness will mean we listen to God’s voice and drown out the other competing ones. Think of the many worldly, fleshly, and devilish voices vying for our attention (social media come to mind?). And those voices aren’t typically telling us to yield to God or anyone, but rather to give in to the flesh and protect self. Meekness will require we tune into and obey God's voice and dismiss the others.
Meekness means not listening defensively. Instead, we listen to actually hear and understand where that person is coming from. We take a breath before responding. This is something that will require practice!
"If you wish to defend yourself, the Lord will let you."
Above all, meekness means we entrust ourselves to God... Jesus modeled this for us. We trust His will, His plan, and His ability to care for us. We know, despite present circumstances, that God is our champion and watches over the meek; He said as much.
This is only able to be done by the Spirit and so it is to the Spirit we must go.
What is the prize? There are many scriptures that promise reward to the meek (references below).
The meek are:
Guided by God
Live in an abundance of peace
Lifted up by God
And, "They shall inherit the earth."
We will not end up on the short end of the deal.
"'My Father, this is all thine; and, therefore, it is all mine; for I am an heir of God, and a joint-heir with Jesus Christ.’ So, in this sense, the meek-spirited man inherits the whole earth.”
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*Scripture references: Psalm 22:26, 25:9, 37:11, 147:6. Isaiah 11:4, 29:19, 61:1. Zephaniah 2:3.