When I bring up the question "so, what is meekness?", I tend to get a lot of blank stares.
Most respond, "I don’t know, I never really thought about it". Or "Meekness, hmm?? A lot like weakness isn’t it?". Basically, we are not too sure we understand meekness.
Jesus and Meekness
Jesus said, "Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. 29"Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle/meek and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. 30"For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."
Jesus describes Himself as meek and humble of heart. Meekness is a defining characteristic of Christ. The cross is a clear and glorious display of Christ’s character and certainly displays this attribute called “meekness”. To love God and to know Christ is to contemplate and meditate and know and glory in the attributes of God displayed in the face of Christ, namely in the cross event. So certainly, meekness is a central attribute that we as lovers of God and those who glory in Christ Jesus should be well acquainted with.
But such is not the case, and I contend, here in lies the problem. In fact it is precisely in taking meekness and lowliness upon ourselves and learning meekness that we “find rest for our souls”. It is the learning of meekness that we get excited about. Meekness is the double back flip of Christianity. Meekness is the part of every solid daily discipleship routine.
So what is meekness?
Death to Self
Meekness is death to self and surrender to God. Luke 9:23 says it this way, “If anyone wants to be my disciple, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me”. This process of learning how to die to our self and the impulses of self, learning to never defend self or stand up for self or protect the interests of self or fear the humiliation of self or the dishonor of self is daily central to our walking with Jesus, our Lord.
Taking Up our Cross
The flip side of death to self is not passivity but taking up our cross. Taking up our cross is taking up our daily task or obedience. Daily we serve not self but God in love. “Lord, what is my task today?” is the meditation and contemplation of the meek. The answer to this question I have found is always the same, “Love everyone everywhere unconditionally”.
This meekness is an abiding orientation of the heart. It is in the heart orientation of meekness that we say today I follow Jesus and learn to “share in His sufferings”. His cross of death to self and obedience to God is all I long to know and imitate. It is this cross life of Christ that dwells in me by the Holy Spirit. In business meetings, in discussions with friends, in the midst of injustice and personal offense and injury, in all things meekness. We learn to no longer defend self or be offended by any assault on ourselves but we learn self sacrifice and unconditional love. In raising our children, in discussions with our loved ones, in peace and in conflict, meekness and humility.
Here is the Problem
Such talk is not in vogue in the church. Such sweet savoring of the knowledge of Christ and His cross by learning and discussing meekness is not the DNA of the church. Yet, every disciple of Jesus should know and love this attribute of Christ. We should know this experience like we know French fries and a diet coke. Meekness and the contemplation of meekness is our daily bread, the staple of our spiritual diet. Here is the solution to all that ails us as a people. Here is our shalom our peace and our rest.