Summary: The antidote to "self-esteem" - othewise known as pride.
Meekness not weakness
By Adrian Warnock
Audio available at
8th Feb 2003
Like the other beatitudes, this one is completely contrary to what the world says- the world says blessed are the RICH, the Happy and the assertive. Jesus obviously doesn’t think so. ’I did it my way’ seems to be the exact opposite of what Jesus is saying here.
These attitudes of the kingdom are not thrown together randomly. They each stand on the shoulders of the one before. It is only as we realize our poverty before God and our inability to save ourselves that we can begin to mourn our sin. Our helplessness and inability to change ourselves or please God drives that mourning. Unless we realize that we cannot live the Christian life under our own steam, we have not become Christians at all. The sermon on the mount ’demands a quality of ethical conduct which is breath-taking in its dimensions.’
Do you ever despair of changing? Do you ever feel helpless before God? Do you ever feel that you are a failure as a Christian? Does the devil ever whisper in your ear and tell you that you are useless and a failure?
Hallelujah you can be comforted. The answer to the devil whispering to you in that way is to say, ’guess what devil you don’t know everything and there are sins I have committed in my mind that you have never seen, but God has dealt with them and do you know what he knows even less about my sin than you do as he has forgiven me and chosen to forget it’!
Today we move onto the third of these attitudes, and again it stands on the shoulders of the previous two and paves the way for the next ones. So today, I stand on the shoulders of Tope and Colin to try and explain the biblical concept of ’meekness’ to you.
Once you know just how hopeless you are on your own, how can you stand up for yourself anymore. How can it bother you that God or man has seemingly unfairly treated you? Does it matter that people have said horrible things about you for you know that there are many more horrible things that could be said. How can you hold yourself as an example of virtue when you truly know the natural evil of your heart and that in the right circumstances you would have been as big a sinner as anyone alive!
A dead man cannot complain at being mistreated, for he is dead. ’He who is already down cannot fall’. Bunyan To the truly meek the cry ’its not fair’ should probably not issue their lips. But I am rushing ahead
Why me? Why am I preaching? Well can I really hold myself up as an example of meekness? Maybe not, but then meekness is one of those things that if you think you have it you probably don’t ’Im proud of being humble’ ’ever so ’umble sir’ Maybe I simply have had to learn more about meekness than most! I know it does not come naturally to me. I have never heard a sermon on this subject, nor have I preached one. This is one of the advantages of a preaching through a series as we are- it FORCES you to confront issues that you normally avoid. I feel I am preaching to myself today, and have really been under conviction all week. But, what is meekness?
What is meekness? Or rather AM I MEEK?
1. not weakness
We tend to think it means weakness. Dictionary definitions seem to confirm this- Meekness is ’Easily managed or handled: docile, gentle, mild, tame. See WILD. .. Having or expressing feelings of humility: humble, lowly, modest. (Rogers thesaurus) or ’Showing patience and humility; gentle .. Easily imposed on; submissive.’ (American Heritage dictionary)
So not exactly a popular concept in our modern word of self love, self assertiveness, and self seeking. But in fact, self assertiveness is not a modern concept ’Pagan writers paid greater respect to the self-confident man.’[i]
In fact the English word derives from an old Germanic word that also gives us the word muck- so it would seem at least that far from inheriting the earth the meek are trampled in the muck!’An effeminate spiritless man or youth; one wanting in courage or manliness’ definition of a ’milksop’ in the thirteenth century. This is the image of Christians held up in countless sitcoms, soaps, movies and news interviews. We loath it rightly, but have we missed out on meekness?
’Gentle Jesus meek and mild’ But meekness does = gentle BUT!! Meekness is not weakness biblically!
2. Meekness is not hasty anger but humble reception of Gods word
It is dealing with our anger, hastiness and sin and receiving humbly what God says to be true and building our lives on it! ’ Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person h be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness that God requires. receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.[ii] (James 1:19-21)