Meekness is Not Weakness — Morning Devotions - Hope 103.2

Meekness is Not Weakness — Morning Devotions

But the meek shall inherit the Earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of Peace. Psalm 37:11

By Chris WittsMonday 6 May 2024Morning Devotions with Chris WittsFaithReading Time: 1 minute

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We don’t use the word meekness much nowadays. When it’s used it is often describing some insipid or timid person who doesn’t think much of themselves. ‘Oh, you’re a meek person or someone who can’t stand up and be counted. Wavering between two opinions.’ Elephants are so strong that they’ve frequently been used for logging, you know, to carry these large logs and even uproot trees. But these giants are usually gentle, especially when tamed from a young age.

The elephant’s trunk, in particular, is a great example of strength, coupled with precise control. Its trunk, with more than 40,000 individual muscles, is strong enough to rip branches from trees and yet sensitive enough to pick up a single blade of grass. So this trained elephant illustrates the great value of having both strength and careful gentleness, and I think it’s a pretty good illustration of the word meekness.

Meekness vs weakness

Many of us confuse meek with weak. It’s regrettable that they rhyme because godly meekness requires strength for a physical comparison. If you were badly injured and needed someone to gently carry you, wouldn’t you want someone who was really strong? You wouldn’t want a person who’d stumble around or struggle with you.

Somehow it’s all about how you interpret, I think, the word meekness. And although Jesus said blessed or happy are the meek, we don’t celebrate meekness in our culture. Instead, we celebrate assertiveness. We celebrate getting things from other people or taking advantage of other people. And when is the last time you saw a movie that celebrated the virtue of meekness? And when’s the last time the big build up in the movie was the moment when the good guy meekly restrains himself even though he was wronged? Well, I guess we don’t want to go to a movie like that. We want to see a payback movie in which the first half consists of bad things happening to the hero, and the last half consists of bad things that come to the people who did those things to the hero. It’s what’s called entertainment, and that’s basically what our culture celebrates.

But the Bible paints a very different picture of meekness. The original word meek in the English language had nothing to do with weakness, but it described not a weak person but someone who endured insult or injury with patience and without resentment. At the time, meekness was considered a strength of character, describing a person who didn’t react with violence when they were injured or abused in some way. They didn’t retaliate when, under pressure, the person was humbly patient and restrained, just like Jesus was, especially at his trial, where he stood up against Pilate, not answering the trump up charges.

Jesus answered nothing. And we read in the Bible that Pilate was amazed. And Pilate watched the angry crowd before him who were demanding the death of Jesus. The red anger, the red faces of the Jews accusing him of treason. And Jesus, standing there, unperturbed, not saying a word. If you were in that situation, how would you react?

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If you had a bunch of people calling you names and cursing you and accusing you of doing things you didn’t do? How would you react? We’d probably want to defend ourselves in some way. But Jesus didn’t. He stood and took all the abuse, all the false accusations and the hatred in a very placid and meek way. Meekness means we don’t have to react. We know that God is on His throne. We are the apple of His eye, and we know in our innermost being that He has our best interests at heart and we can trust Him.

We don’t need to retaliate. We don’t need to fight back. We can take it like Jesus did with calmness, because God wants us to have control over ourselves and the situation that confronts us. This, then, is an inner power of spirit, heart and mind that enables us to suffer and bear an injury or adversity without being emotionally rattled, because we know that we are safe under God’s direction and guidance.

So if we trust God’s control over our lives, we can be calm and even kind in those times when we feel under fire.

Let’s Pray

Heavenly Father help us not to confuse meekness and weakness. We might think that being meek is weak, but it’s not. You’ve taught us, Lord its strength under control, And Lord, I want to be that person. I pray this in your name, Amen.