Meekness: The Virtue Nobody Wants

 

A quote I recently read, gave me real chuckle. “When Canada takes over the world you’ll all be sorry!” Our reputation for being apologetic distinguishes us from among the nations.

On its face this stereotype is not really flattering (nor is it entirely accurate, I am sorry to say). While others may bask in the “rocket’s red glare” we content ourselves with unexciting civility.

Recent events have caused me to reflect on the virtue of meekness. Meekness is an easy virtue to imitate when things are going ‘my way’ but much more challenging when faced with injustice, unfairness and threat. In my devotions I was reading Psalm 37.  “Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret – it only leads to evil” (verse 8) “But the meek will inherit the land and enjoy great peace.” (verse 11)

These days it is easy to fall into anger. Tweet storms and mean memes are everywhere, luring rage from its den of hibernation. It is here in our inner life that the battle is won or lost. As we allow the fleshly desire to strike out and strike back we forfeit inner peace. Our outward bellicosity robs us of inner peace. This is too high a price to pay! Meekness is the answer. Its unexciting exercise lulls anger back to sleep.

Some say meekness is weakness and I guess I agree. Meekness involves an acknowledgement that “I am not God.” and that God alone can and will resolve life’s problems. Meekness is a humble submission to God and his ways. Striking back seems satisfying in the moment but like all sin turns quickly to ashes. Paul reminds us that when we are weak then we are strong. God’s power is made perfect in our weakness!

Meekness is a path too little trod. It is a path that ends in ultimate vindication. One of my favourite modern hymn writers, Graham Kendrick, penned “Meekness and Majesty” as an homage to the character of Christ. We do well to imitate our Lord. I seldom (never?) feel meek. Submission does not come naturally. Thank God that my life does not have to be ruled by my feelings. It is my actions that count as I bring the thoughts of anger into captivity.

In the Beatitudes Jesus affirms the promise of Psalm 37 when he promises that “The meek shall inherit the earth.” This sets out, for us, a winning strategy for life. Let us purpose to maintain our inner peace through active submission to one who has “overcome the world”.

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