To be truly meek is to be truly strong.
The Bible says regarding one of the greatest leaders the world has ever known that the man Moses was the meekest of all the men on the earth. But in the Hall of Fame of Meekness (call it the Hall of Fame of Humility, if you wish), I’ve been privileged to know several individuals who deserve to be included. Among the greatest of the humble, in my opinion, was my father.
If you’ve been blessed to have such a father or grandfather or mentor, you’ll know firsthand how wrong our society is to equate meekness with weakness or sheepishness, a kind of “Mary’s little lamb” sort of thing. We know that Jesus said, “Blessed are the meek.” But that’s every bit as hard for our world to believe as “blessed are the poor.”
Can you imagine a large corporation giving classes in “meekness” training? No, it’s “assertiveness” training. We have, sadly enough, magazines named SELF; you’ll never find one on an adjoining shelf named, NO, YOU FIRST.
Meekness is a quality you can’t afford, our society screams.
Meek people get run over.
Meek people are doormats.
Meek people never make it to the top—and, of course, our society never stops to ask if the price paid to get to “the top” is a price worth paying.
But, as is so often the case, our society is near-sighted and wisdom-parched.
Real meekness, genuine humility, is quiet but filled with wisdom when it speaks. It thrives in a soul shaped by character, integrity, prudence, and civility. It is at the same time gentle and incredibly strong. Wherever it is found, it is a rare and beautiful blessing.
My father was a gentle man, strong in all the ways that matter and last. The Apostle Paul closes his letter to the Ephesians, “Finally, brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might” (6:10). And “in the Lord” is where Dad’s strength lay.
Dad was strong in Christ. And so he could be gentle. He had nothing to prove.
Dad was strong in Christ. And so he could quietly trust in God. He had no reason to be loud.
Dad’s strength was in the Lord. And so he had no reason to quarrel with those who opposed him.
Anyone who thinks he fully understands Christ’s Sermon on the Mount could well use more meekness, more humility. We probably see now only dim glimmers of the beautiful reality Christ has in mind when he says that the meek will “inherit the earth.”
But surely at least this much is true. When the loud and arrogant, the bullies and the braggarts of this world are putrefying in well-deserved decay, their fifteen minutes of fame over, God is promising that the strength and wisdom of the genuinely meek will endure and continue to be a blessing.
I would very much like to live in a world where God has put people like Moses and my father in charge, where the meek rule by God’s power and blessing.
Yes, indeed, that’s a world in which I’d love to live. It’s a world in which I plan to live.
You’re invited to visit my website at http://www.CurtisShelburne.com!
Copyright 2019 by Curtis K. Shelburne. Permission to copy without altering text or profiteering is hereby granted subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.