By Chris WittsSunday 18 Nov 2012Morning Devotions with Chris WittsUncategorizedReading Time: 0 minutes
I’m sure you know what doormats are – most homes have one at the front door to wipe dirt off shoes. Fair enough. But I read of another meaning to this word “doormats”,and it was Dependent organization of really meek and timid souls” – if there are no objections”. It was tongue-in-cheek and sending a message about people who are meek and submissive. It’s almost a dirty word – this word “meekness”. The society of doormats has as their motto “The meek shall inherit the earth – if that’s ok with everybody”. Their symbol is a yellow traffic light.
And that’s the opinion many have today when this word “meekness” is mentioned.. is meekness another word for weakness? Does it mean you have to agree with everyone and let people walk all over you because you’re afraid of them? What did Jesus really mean when He said “God blesses those who are humble. The earth will belong to them” (Matthew 5:5) Perhaps you’re more familiar with the older words “Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth”. Meekness is not about taking revenge on someone,but actually uses its strength to do the work of God. It never reacts out of control. It is in control. Meekness is controlled power. Now this is what the New Testament calls a fruit of the spirit. Paul says in 2I Timothy 1: “God’s spirit does not make us timid,but his spirit fills us with power and love and self-control.” This is meekness.
The Jesuit priest John Powell once wrote that he was walking down the street with a friend one day and they stopped to get a newspaper. The man selling the paper was grumpy and discourteous and very rude. But,as they were walking away,his friend said to the man,”You have a nice day,now.” And John Powell was amazed. He asked his friend,”Is that man always that rude to you?” The response was,”Yes.” “Are you always that nice to him?” He said,”Yes,I am not going to let one man ruin my day.” That’s meekness. That’s being in control.
Vince Lombardi has said “simplicity is the sign of greatness and meekness is the sign of true strength”. And I agree with that. There is nothing weak about being meek. Viktor Frankl,the famous psychiatrist who survived Auschwitz said,”They took my clothes,my wife,my children,my wedding ring. I stood naked before the SS. I realized that they can take everything in my life,but they cannot take away my freedom to choose how I will respond to them.” That’s the freedom you always have. So,how do you react? How do you choose to react when people are hurting you? Jesus is saying blessedness belongs to people with self-control. You are saying,”Well,I guess that leaves me out.” It doesn’t have to because we know someone who can give us that self-control. Did you know for the Christian,it’s not just self-control,but it’s allowing God’s spirit to be so in your life that He controls your reactions,that He helps you not to react. Now,this is related to the way they used this word meek in the time of Jesus. They used it to describe animals that were naturally wild,but had become domesticated – animals who had learned to accept control by their masters and were properly behaved and externally useful.
So how do we learn to be meek? How can we learn to let God help us control our reactions? Let’s close with these suggestions:
1. Ask God daily to take control of all your life.
2. Ask God daily to help you control your reactions and to grow in self-control. And when you ask him,remember that he delights to give what is good to you. He delights to teach you to control your reactions.
3. When someone disappoints you,be gentle not judgmental. Look at the Scriptures: “Accept him whose faith is weak,without passing judgment on disputable matters.” [Romans 14:1] “If a person is trapped in some sin,you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself,or you also may be tempted. Carry each other’s burdens.” [Galatians 5:1-2]
4. When someone disagrees with you,be tender without surrender. When someone jumps on you
5. When someone corrects you be teachable not unreachable. “Let everyone be quick to listen,but slow to use his tongue,and slow to lose his temper.” [James 1:19] “Whoever listens to correction is honoured.” [Proverbs 13:18]
6. When someone hurts you,be an actor not a reactor. “Do not repay evil for evil . . . overcome evil with good.” [Romans 12:17,21] Only God’s spirit can enable us to live that way and God’s spirit will give us self-control if we ask. “He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty,and he who rules his own spirit than he who captures a city.” [Proverbs 16:32] “God’s Spirit does not make us timid,instead his Spirit fills us with power,love,and self-control.” [II Timothy 1:7]
7. When you lose your temper,over-reacting at another,ask their forgiveness and God’s as well. It’s the hardest thing in the world to say,”I’m sorry. Will you please forgive me?” But that’s how we learn meekness. “If we confess our sins,God can be depended upon to forgive us and cleanse us from every wrong.” [I John 1:9]