We are living out the consequences of teaching of a generation that has been taught its rights without having been taught responsibility.
A generation that has been taught the importance of passion without the equally important quality of restraint.
A generation that has been taught that even if they don’t win, they’re a winner.
A generation that been taught that they are like Teflon to consequences – they stick to the next guy, but never stick to them.
While this may be a rather pessimistic opening for a post, stick with me because it will get more encouraging. I promise
I am deeply concerned by what I often see in the news media. The passive-aggressive way that conflict is handled, the inability to handle those who think differently than we do, the passion with which we seize our rights, and the lack of decorum and manners with which we communicate them.
And while we know that sinners behave in sinful ways, when we see this behavior among those who call themselves Christians, it becomes all the more concerning.
The very name Christian indicates that we are to behave like Christ.
- Who never defended Himself
- Who didn’t seize His rights
- Who endured injustice with grace
When the Pharisees tried to trip Him up with their questions, when they pretended to be sincere, Jesus never answered them sarcastically. Even when He rebuked them, it wasn’t to defend Himself and His name, it was to defend the gospel.
Jesus exemplified meekness perfectly.
He wasn’t passive – meekness isn’t passivity. Meekness knows when to show restraint and when to confront and when we confront in meekness we don’t do so to defend ourselves, but to defend the gospel.
There are three qualities of a meek person
If we want to live our lives victoriously, we need to have the fruit of the Spirit growing in our lives. We need to live disciplined lives and we need to be able to identify our real enemy, so that we can be a blessing to those around us while fighting the true fight against our real enemy!
Christians who openly fight against one another are a distraction from the real battle and the real enemy. We don’t fight against flesh and blood, and our battle isn’t for our rights.
We are fighting a spiritual war to defend the Kingdom of God and to see God’s will accomplished here on earth.
1. A meek person is secure in their identity in Christ
A meek person doesn’t feel compelled to defend himself and his reputation. He knows who he is in Jesus Christ and is secure in that.
When our identity is in our gender, we have to engage in feminism and gender equality…and criticize those who still teach that wives should be submissive to their husbands.
When our identity is in our parenting method, we have to defend our parenting decision and right to choose what we feel is best for our child…and attack those who have chosen a different parenting method, or who kindly ask us not to nurse our babies in certain public places.
When our identity is in our political affiliation, we have to defend our politics and seize our right to talk about it openly on social media…and criticize those who have differing political opinions.
But when our identity is in Jesus Christ we give others the freedom express their differing opinions without feeling compelled to defend our own.
2. A meek person resolves conflict with restraint
Meekness isn’t passivity. In fact, meek people – just like any other person – will find themselves compelled to confront others.
Jesus confronted the Pharisees often.
The difference between a meek person involved in a conflict and ever other person is the discipline with which they resolve conflict.
A meek person is restrained by their ability to recognize the true enemy and identify the ultimate goal and desired outcome of the conflict.
We do not fight against flesh and blood.
People are not our enemy, Satan and his cohorts are; and the ultimate goal for every conflict is to defend the gospel and to see God’s will established here on earth.
When we are able to fully embrace this, we can enter into a confrontation with restraint, not attacking the person and not defending our own territory, but targeting the real enemy and keeping our eyes fixed on the real goal.
Meekness restrains us from fighting in the flesh!
3. A meek person lives from a position of humility
Humility isn’t thinking less of yourself that you should; it isn’t thinking of yourself at all!
Humility is a lack of preoccupation with ourselves. Humble people are not insecure, quite the opposite. Humble people are fully secure in who they are, and therefore are not preoccupied by what people think of them.
This frees them to be able to give to others; to build other people up, to give them room to be who they are and what God called them to be.
It also allows them to deal gently with others, because they are not in a constant state of defending themselves and their rights.
This is why Paul, in 1 Corinthians 13, taught us about Agape love.
Agape love, God’s love, is what gives us the ability to live with true meekness. When we are secure in God’s love for us; when we embrace that love and freely give that love to others, the natural outcome will be meekness.
That love will fuel our passion for God’s kingdom and the gospel, but also restrain us from selfish ambition and pride.
Such a lovely picture of Christ Himself!