We are going through The Beatitudes from Matthew 5 right now in my church’s sermon series. Yesterday’s message was on Matthew 5:5, “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.” One of the first things stated in the sermon was the title of this post: “Meekness is not weakness!”
This sentence intrigued me and I wanted to hear more. Because you see, I do correlate meekness with weakness is some respect. I’m sure that the way our culture defines meekness has shaped my mindset quite a bit. Meekness isn’t necessarily seen as a good trait or something to aspire to in our society.
Therefore, I tend think of someone who is meek as a timid little doormat of a person, but my pastor choose to relate it instead to the controlled strength of a trained stallion and called it “power restrained by wisdom.” He also talked more about this power being from God and not from us; this kind of power in meekness comes not by us ascending to it but instead by us relenting to God’s way through it all.
As an example of this, we learned about Gideon defeating the Midianites in Judges 7 (but only after God had whittled Gideon’s army down from 32,000 to 300 men). You see, God knows the human heart all too well and He told Gideon, “You have too many men. I cannot deliver Midian into their hands, or Israel would boast against me, ‘My own strength has saved me’” (Judges 7:2).
Our congregation also heard about the parable of the mustard seed from Matthew 13:31-32. About this my pastor said, “In your smallness you’ll find strength.” I liked that! Here is that text:
“[Jesus] told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. 32 Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.”
However, what stood out to me the most from the sermon was my pastor’s new definition of meekness. He said, “Meekness is a middle ground between anger and disengagement.” He also defined meekness not as a passive state but as something we should pursue in our lives.
I really liked his definition because I do see myself having a tendency to vacillate on issues between the two extremes of anger and frustration or disengagement and indifference. And maybe if you always get swept along by the current opinions of the day that is usually the case? So the idea that instead we can actively move towards a different way sounded interesting to me.
My pastor posed the thought that perhaps this difference begins with a personal transformation that only comes from a relationship with Jesus Christ and next with us asking, “Who am I God that you would use me?” Once we can truly ask this question with our whole hearts then God will say to us, as He did to Gideon, “Yes, now you are finally ready to be used by Me!”
Lord, help me to pursue this middle ground of meekness in my life – a character trait not sought after or encouraged by the world around me but maybe one that it needs right now more than ever.