We are going to skip over the fruit of goodness for a bit, and talk about meekness. Meekness and gentleness are fruit in the same family. They are quite closely related. In fact, it may be the fruit of meekness that makes the fruit of gentleness possible.
Meekness is also not well understood. We will try to get a clear understanding of the word and how it should look in our lives.
For the last two days we have looked at the fruit of gentleness. If we were to put these two, meekness and gentleness, in order, I believe that meekness should come first. Meekness is the opposite of pride and arrogance. Meekness is akin to humility. In fact, humility is part of the definition of meekness. It is gentleness which springs from a spirit of humility.
If we struggle a lot with the concept of gentleness, it may be because we have not learned to show the spirit of meekness.
“Meekness is not weakness” some have said. This is true, but I believe this rhetorical device causes us to miss the mark. Meekness is not about the presence or lack of strength at all. It is about the presence or absence of pride.
2Corinthians 10:1 Now I Paul myself beseech you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ, who in presence am base among you, but being absent am bold toward you:
Did you see how the two attributes went together?
Meekness is an attribute that can only be seen in relation to how we treat others. Consider the following verses:
Galatians 6:1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.
Ephesians 4:2With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;
Colossians 3:12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;
1Timothy 6:11 But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.
2Timothy 2:25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;
Titus 3:2 To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men.
1Peter 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:
Let’s take, for starters, the very first verse in the list: Galatians 6:1.
Here we have a man who has been overtaken in some fault. He has been tripped up and is sprawled face down in life’s race. Who is to help this man?
Well…Mr. Pride is often the first to step up. His help goes something like this.
“Well that was a mighty stupid thing to do! Now look what you have done. You have gone and gotten yourself all dirty. I would have been much more careful. I would never trip over such an obvious obstacle. My uniform is still spotless. You should let me help you since it is obvious that I know better than you how to run this race. Of course you will never do it as well as I do, but maybe you can carry my water once we get you on your feet.”
Mr. Meekness steps up with an entirely different attitude.
“Dear friend, let me help you up. We are all prone to falling. I myself have been tripped up before. Here, take my hand. Let me help you to your feet. I will not judge you. It is only by God’s grace that I did not trip over that same obstacle.”
Do you see the difference? It isn’t about strength. It isn’t about ability. It is about the heart attitude that lets us see that we are what we are by the grace of God, and we are told to esteem others better than ourselves.
Meekness resists the thoughts of pride. Meekness is gentle, because meekness knows how much grace has been shown to it as well.
I know that the Lord told us that the world system would hate us because it hated him. However, sometimes individual people, lost people, do not like Christians because we are prideful, arrogant, and judgmental. We act as if we were born saved, and are already perfect. I ask you…is this meekness?
We are to show meekness in dealing with all men because of the grace and help we have received, and are receiving every day.
Heavenly Father, teach me to have the spirit of meekness. Help me to resist the thought of pride which well up in my heart. Remind me that I am just dust. I was lost an undone when you found me. Any progress I have made since then is a direct result of your grace. Please, Lord, don’t let me try to take credit for your work. As I come in contact with others today, let demonstrate meekness through your Holy Spirit. In Jesus name, amen.