Summary: Introduction Can you truly be meek and happy at the same time? Can you picture a meek person who is also a happy person? You probably find it rather challenging.
Meekness-The Way to Happiness
Text: "Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth" (Matt. 5:5).
Scripture Reading: Matthew 5:1-5
Can you truly be meek and happy at the same time? Can you picture a meek person who is also a happy person? You probably find it rather challenging.
Our misunderstanding of meekness creates this difficulty. In a world that thinks only an aggressive, hardworking person can get ahead in life, it is hard to believe that those who are meek will inherit anything, much less the earth!
Yet Jesus upheld meekness as the way to happiness. "Blessed [happy] are the meek" (Matt. 5:5). If anyone knows human nature and what it takes to make a person happy, Jesus Christ is that person. He did not imply that being fearful or weak brings happiness. Instead, Jesus referred to attitude or outlook. The meekness he described requires us to be strong people who are grounded in Christ. It demands us to have a personal relationship with God. This kind of meekness inevitably brings happiness. Meekness is the way to happiness for several reasons.
1. Meekness maintains an even temperament.
Aristotle defined meekness as the mean between two extremes-intense anger and excessive indifference. It is the happy medium between too much anger and too little passion.
William Barclay suggested that the beatitude be translated, "Blessed is the man who is always angry at the right time, and never angry at the wrong time."
When is the right time to be angry? When insult or injury is suffered by others, not ourselves. But how can we develop this even temperament? How can we avoid the extremes of severe anger or apathy? We can’t! But God can do for us what we cannot do for ourselves. So how does God give us an even temperament? First, through salvation; before all else we must be born again. Second, through the Holy Spirit’s work in our lives. "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law" (Gal. 5:22-23).
II. Meekness develops self-control.
The word used for meekness has a second meaning. Often it was used to express the idea of "self-control." For instance, an animal that otherwise would have been wild but had been made a house pet was called meek. The animal had learned to respond favorably to commands and to behave properly. Therefore, the beatitude could be translated, "Blessed are they who are entirely self-controlled." Weakness is giving in to the worst that is in you. Meekness is mastery over it.
To be meek does not mean that you are cowardly, but it does mean that you are strong enough not to retaliate when wrongly treated. Having their rights, those who are meek do not insist on them. Possessing great ability, those who are meek do not flaunt it. They would rather forgive than accuse.
Such self-control results in peace with oneself. Those who cannot control their anger, greed, lust, tongue, or ambition will never be at peace within. They will constantly be at war with themselves.
III. Meekness expresses itself through gentleness.
A third meaning of the Greek word for meekness tells us something else about
this quality of a happy life. Meekness may be translated "kindness" or "gentleness." The concept of a man being a gentleman was born in the Christian faith. He is a man who is gentle, courteous, and considerate. Meekness and gentleness are characteristics of a strong, not weak, person.
A. Gentleness is considerate of others. "Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself or you also may be tempted" (Gal. 6:1 NIV). A gentle person is considerate of others even when they have done wrong.
B. Gentleness admits faults to others. James advised, "Confess your faults one to another" (James 5:16). Proud, arrogant, or insecure people can never bring themselves to do this. However, meek, gentle, and secure individuals have courage to admit their mistakes to others. Benjamin Franklin asserted, "None but the well-bred man knows how to confess a fault or acknowledge himself in error." Humble people bravely admit their shortcomings, which leads to happiness for all involved.
C. Gentleness encourages others. Paul encourages us "to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and to show true humility toward all men (Titus 3:2 NIV). As long as you maximize others’ faults while minimizing your own, you can never be happy.
D. Gentleness learns from others. Gentle people are apt to learn. They accept criticism and are always eager to listen both to God and others; as a result, they learn much. Those who demonstrate meekness are happy.
IV. Meekness is assured of victory.
Jesus said of those who are meek, "They shall inherit the earth" (Matt. 5:5). This truth is affirmed many times throughout the Bible. Listen to these four passages from Psalms.