February 23 Lent Devotional

The Meek
February 23, 2021
By Pastor Lesly Broadbent

5 Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.

Jesus is seen in Scripture as the best example of meekness.  The King of kings, the Lord of lords, the God of gods lowering Himself, becoming a human, being born in a stable whose first bed was a feed trough, living financially impoverished, being persecuted for doing good, being crucified by the powerful and religious elite.  That is the meekness of Jesus.

As we begin to examine this second Beatitude it may be most helpful for us to look at what meekness is not.  First, meekness is not weakness.  Being meek does not mean that a person doesn’t have power, resources, or strength.  But the meek person is not influenced by those resources or made arrogant by their potential.  It’s when we don’t know our power that we have to throw our weight around and feel like we have to assert ourselves in order convince others, and ourselves, that we are in control.  In very simple terms, who is stronger, the person who strikes back or the one who doesn’t need to?  If a child hits a grown man the man doesn’t hit the child back (unless the man is immature).  Now, the grown man has the power to do what he wants with the child, but he has an even greater power, the strength to keep his superiority under control.  Meekness is not weakness.

Second, meekness is not submissiveness.  Certainly, the Bible says (Ephesians 5:21) that husbands and wives are to submit to one another (though some Christians ignore this call for mutual submission), but submissiveness is different.  Submissiveness means to always yield to others.  This is not a characteristic of followers of Christ at all.  Though there are times we should yield to others, there are other times we are called to stand up against injustice and oppression.  There are times we are called to fight for the rights of others.  Meekness is not submissiveness.

Meekness is also not dispassion.  We are not called to be emotionally absent or emotionally uninvolved.  Whereas some Eastern religions call for followers to free themselves from all desires, our faith never teaches us that.  Instead, we are called to desire the right things.  We must be passionate about our love for God and others.  We must be passionate about our commitment to holiness and righteousness.  Meekness is not dispassion.

Finally, meekness is not blandness.  Over the centuries Christians have gotten a bad rap, often rightfully so, about being milquetoast, boring, and somber.  But as followers of Christ, we should be more hopeful, joyful, and energized by life than anyone else.  The indwelling Holy Spirit will always bring excitement to our lives.  Meekness is not blandness.

Which of these false understandings of meekness most challenges you?  Do you find yourself weak, submissive, dispassionate, or bland sometimes?  Do you occasionally think these are Christian attributes?  How can you develop a healthier understanding of meekness?
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