I don’t really know why I put meekness in this group of ten of Christ’s attributes. As I started today’s meditation I second-guessed my choice and went back to the list, intending to replace it with something else. But I felt a strong urge to keep it after all.
Meekness is akin to gentleness, but carries with it the unfortunate connotation of weakness or impotence. When I think of a meek person I imagine someone who is quiet, unengaged, and perhaps backwards or socially frightened. A mousy little wallflower in a gingham dress.
But Jesus is described as meek. And he wasn’t scared of anything or anyone.
In the scripture below, wisdom is called meek. (Wisdom has character attributes?)
So, I must have a mistaken understanding about what it means to be meek.
quiet, gentle, and easily imposed on; submissive
Origin: Middle English me(o)c (also in the sense ‘courteous or indulgent’), from Old Norse mjúkr ‘soft, gentle.’
Soft, gentle, courteous, and easily imposed upon. Hmm. Whereas gentleness seeks to cause no harm to others, meekness (I suspect) seeks to cause no fear or anxiety in others. A meek person, then, is one who is not threatening.
Jesus could’ve called upon legions of angels to destroy his enemies. He could’ve summoned a storm to obliterate the landscape. Were he so inclined, he could cut off someone’s life-breath with a word. Yet nowhere is Jesus described as threatening, or even demonstrably powerful, except when subduing other threatening powers, such as storms, demons, and death.
Wow. I’m starting to like the idea of meekness. It’s not about being weak. It’s about controlling one’s strength. Which actually requires orders of magnitude greater strength than having the strength itself.
Meekness and forgiveness? If I had enough strength to be meek, I’d certainly have enough strength to be forgiving, too. Right?
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Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. – James 3:13
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