Developing a Spirit of Meekness

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Since the Bible puts a premium on meekness, I must cultivate it. Meekness is not weakness, as many have pointed out; but, in the words of a Christian brother, “Meekness is ‘I accept God’s dealings with me without bitterness.’ ” Meekness says God is always right, I must always accept what He sends me, and I must always do it with gladness of heart.

Bitterness is always the opposite of meekness; its constant cry is “It isn’t fair!” That is what Naomi said after returning from Moab, where she lost her husband and two sons: “Do not call me Naomi [Pleasant]; call me Mara [Bitterness], for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me” (Ruth 1:20). God had become her adversary; He “witnessed against” her and “afflicted” her (v. 21). “I went out full, but the Lord has brought me back empty” (v. 21, italics added). It is easy to see that poor Naomi was unloading the full responsibility of her forlorn condition on the Lord, and “it wasn’t fair!”

Naomi’s story was put in the Bible because she mirrors every one of us. How many times have I turned sour against God because He “witnessed” or testified against me instead of for me, and “afflicted” me instead of blessing me! The real tragedy is the cheap, shortsighted view we have of God. Yet how many of us nurture this “distorted God” concept subconsciously until it colors all our attitudes and directs all our actions!

Meekness says what Mary said, “Here I am … Let it be with me as you say” (Luke 1:38, Berkeley). Meekness shouts, “God is good, God cannot do wrong, God will treat me fairly!” The great example of meekness is Jesus Christ, and what a God He revealed! Lord, drive out every root of bitterness in me and name me on Your list of meek saints!

“He will not cry out or raise His voice, nor make His voice heard in the street. A bruised reed He will not break, and a dimly burning wick He will not extinguish” (Isaiah 42:23).

– Thoughts from Timothy Keller

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