Character Trait No. 36
Definition: Yielding everything to God including the results and thought for self
“Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in gentleness of wisdom.” James 3:13
“Yield! Bend!” shouted the strong wind to the proud tree.
“I will not bend!” defiantly replied the old oak standing on the ridge.
“ We shall see about that”, warned the wind, and blew much harder.
Harder and harder blew the raging wind, and the proud tree grasped the soil by it roots with a weakening grip. Rain poured down, softening the wet soil, aiding the wind. Suddenly there was a wrenching, shuttering movement of the old oak as it came crashing down with a loud crash. The wind stopped its howling and quietly surveyed the fallen foliage with roots upturned and broken damp branches lying helter-skelter around it. Then moving on to other lands to rage and blow, he whispered,
“ We see, proud tree, who wins.”
Like the oak’s futile resistance to the hurricane wind, man also often resists submitting to his Almighty Creator. Stiff-necked, stubborn and hardhearted rebels defy their God with shaking fists and puckered lips. Christ’s Spirit says, “Yield! Bend! I will not strive with men forever!” (Gen.6:3) Proud Satan would rather rule in hell, than serve in heaven. Such is the attitude of the proud followers of the devil, who foolishly defy God even to their own destruction. “I will not bend!” they shout with knotted fist and glaring eyes. Transgressing God’s laws with impunity and advocating the death of God, they have set up their own standards and eliminate all truth from the land. Stalin, Hitler and Mao in our the 21st century very obviously epitomize this antichrist spirit that’s existed since Eve took the fruit in defiance of God.
One who is meek is like the smart tree that submits to the superior force of the gale, bending before it in humble compliance. He survives and thrives by submission to God. He acknowledges that he is a created being, and that therefore there is a Creator who has inalienable rights over his being. He does not kick against the goads like Saul, but obeying the farmer’s will quietly pulls the plow. This is actually the more literal meaning of the Greek, praus – meek.
Interestingly, in the Old Testament, although praus is used of Moses (Num.12:3), it is never used of God, since it relates mainly to the social position of a servant or inferior. Nevertheless, Jesus called himself praus:
“Take your yoke upon me and learn of me, for I am meek(gentle) and humble of heart.” (Matt.11:29) Since this is such an important point, permit my quoting of a somewhat lengthy passage from W.E Vine, p.56:
“The meaning of prautes is not readily expressed in English for the terms meekness, mildness, commonly used, suggest weakness and pusillanimity (cowardliness) to a greater or less extent, whereas prautes does nothing of the kind. Nevertheless, it is difficult to find a rendering less open to objection than ‘meekness;’ ‘gentleness’ has been suggested, but as prautes describes a condition of mind and heart, and as ‘gentleness’ is appropriate rather to actions, this word is no better than that used in both English versions. It must be clearly understood, therefore, that the meekness manifested by the Lord and commended to the believer is the fruit of power. The common assumption is that when a man is meek it is because he cannot help himself; but the Lord was ‘meek’ because he had the infinite resources of God at His command. Described negatively, meekness is the opposite of self-assertiveness and self-interest; it is equanimity of spirit that is neither cast down, simply because it is not occupied with self at all.”
This long quotation excellently describes this character trait as possessed both by Christ, and also as He taught it to his followers. Meek does not mean weak! On the contrary, it means power under control. Submission to God is not just for old men, women and children. As Christ was the most powerful individual who ever walked on this planet – even walking on water; raising the dead; feeding thousands; etc – and yet called himself meek. He commanded us, his disciples, to imitate Him by taking this yoke of submission and learning from Him, so that we could have rest for our souls. Clearly the only real stress relief is to learn to trust and obey and be happy in Jesus. Happy people bend their will to God’s.
Being meek is being:
- Happy to go with the flow and help the program along in a team spirit.
- Accepting any assignment given by our superiors with no fuss or muss.
- Single-mindedly accomplishing whatever task God has given me with patience and determination.
- Concentrating on each day, living in the present, riding self of all fret and worry about tomorrow.
- Exercising restraint when wronged and able to retaliate.
- Downplaying our own achievements so that others can accomplish things and get recognition.
- Allow others to speak, and then saying what needs said for edification and encouragement.
- Praising God enthusiastically in all situations, know that He is in perfect control of everything.
- Constantly and sincerely giving all the glory to God for all of our achievements.
- Calling more attention to Jesus than to self in all situations.
- Being a team player that enjoys getting the task done more than being recognized or praised by men. Seeking God’s approval over men’s, and willing to wait for heavenly rewards rather then earthly ones.
Someone who is meek is the opposite of proud. How challenging that Jesus called himself meek. Being meek is not being a weak geek! It takes so much restraint to limit the bragging, boastful attitude of the world. On the other hand, neither does it take much power to adopt the “O woe is me, I’m nothing, and nobody loves me!” attitude of many of the “Sad Sacks” out there. Meekness is power with restraint. Meekness is an attitude of total surrender to the all-powerful, incredible God who created the universe and everything in it. It is the smart way to live. BEND, O PROUD MORTAL, BEND!