Dabar [theme]

He shall cover thee with His feathers, and under His wings shalt thou find refuge: His truth is a shield and buckler
Psalms 91:4

Be it ours,when we cannot see the face of God, to trust under the shadow of His wings. C.H. Spugeon

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Meekness vs. Weakness

Meekness is commonly defined as gentle, humble, modest, submissive, meager or self-effacing. It is also used to describe a spirit of lowliness, humility, patient or non-retaliatory behaviour. The closest usage of the concept of meekness in the English language is the word 'gentleman'. This is a word which has lost its context in 'modern' and 'enlightened' or more apropos 'liberated' times. The concept of gentleman actually implies equality or an esteeming of another as companion. Ties nicely to the parable of the 'Good Samaritan'. This idea of equality denotes association with any and all who cross or walk with us on this 'way'. It removes the option of segregation and rather promotes the expression of mercy, and our understanding of mercy with legs. Galatians 6:1 , ' if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in the spirit of gentleness (meekness), considering yourself lest you be tempted'. 2 Timothy 2:24 '... and a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle (meek) to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition...' Meekness enables a man to remain cool when others are becoming inflamed, it is in this control that we find another essence of meekness. Meekness restrains from private revenge, resisting the incitement of personal resentment.
Meekness towards God is shown in the acceptance of persecution for the sake of the Cross, to suffer affliction and ridicule for our beliefs. Here is where we find the paradox, meekness is also defined as 'power under control'. Moses was described in Number 12:3 as 'very meek, above (paradoxical) all men who were on the face of the Earth.'; Jesus who described himself as 'gentle (meek) and humble in heart; both are men who acted out of passion for their God and in righteous anger required of erring people a response, a justification, an accountability for their wrongdoing. We find here the strength of meekness, in that true tests of character are found in the ability to stand and defend the principles of righteousness, unyielding and uncompromising with evil. The world would have us believe that meekness is consistent with wimpiness, unable to face adversity or opposition to our beliefs. The realization that to be meek means to have intelligence in light of the world's view that Christianity is for the weak of mind (think on Paul's apologetics); to have strength of character when the world esteems us as those who are to be trod upon, doormats, dogs(think of Jesus with Pilate); to have joy and contentment when the world says we should be miserable because we have no 'life', no enjoyment of the things of this world; to have contentment when the world sees our state as being that which is least desired.
Meekness is not synonymous with weakness. " Man's misconception of this strength of meekness is largely due to the gentle guise which she adopts, the restraint which she exercises over herself, her soft footfall, her modulated tones. They do not pierce through the hiding of her power, and realize that there is even greater power required for the restraining of the manifestations of power, than in letting them have free play. It is a stronger thing for a man of vehement and impetuous temper to speak and act gently in the face of great provocation, than to blurt out indignant words and bluster like a north-east wind! The soft hand that restrains the fiery steed, is obviously as strong, and stronger. Ah! passionate souls, that pour out showers of glowing coals at every provocation, (you) little know how evident is your weakness, where (you) vaunt yourselves of strength, how much more evident your strength would be if (you) made the unruly passions within heed the strong sway of a steadfast purpose." F.B. Meyer

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