Our church is doing a bible study on the fruits of the spirit. I am so blessed to be able to be apart of this. It has been so good to get together with others and uplift/encourage each other in our daily walks. Each fruit of the spirit has provoked great thought, but the one that struck me the most was meekness. I guess I have never really dug into what meekness truly means and how I apply it in my life. The definition in the bible study described it as humility in practice. The idea of having the power or capability to do something but refraining from it because we defer to God. At first that didn’t really make sense to me. So I looked up other sources of definitions. Another one I found was: an attitude or quality of heart: not self-willed, willing to put self in second place, submission.
As I think on these definitions my mind battles against itself. Perhaps because built in my DNA there is a stubbornness. A little fire is lit in my heart when I am told to do something a certain way. Honestly that is hard to stare at on the screen as I type. That stubbornness coupled with the human nature of “wanting to do what I want to do” can shove meekness out of the picture. However I also can’t help but wonder if meekness can be taken out of context. It is easy to look at the definition and think that we have to submit to everyone no matter what. I strongly believe in setting boundaries in our lives. How do we balance boundaries with meekness? It seems as if meekness says that we should have no boundaries. I think in this world meekness is looked on as being weak. If we don’t set any boundaries in our life, I may have to agree with that. If we just constantly submit to the will of others we are not living our life. Before long we will lose our confidence and may feel insignificant.
To help myself differentiate between becoming a door mat, and being meek I had to look at Jesus. He was the meekest of all. He died on the cross for each one of us. He asked for the cup to be removed if it was possible, but said not my will but thine. He submitted to his Father’s will because he knew it was the right thing to do. He took time to listen and care for others no matter what. He is always there for us when we call on him and takes all our burdens away. But he did not just let everything go. One thing that sticks out in my mind is when Jesus went into the temple and saw people selling and buying. He did not stand for that, saying “My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer but ye have made it a den of thieves.” Jesus had boundaries, he would not stand for wrong behavior. Another example that comes to mind of boundaries is the woman caught in the act of adultery. The Scribes and Pharisees wanted to stone her because that is what the law said to do. Jesus simply answered “he that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” Jesus came to teach us grace, forgiveness, and love. He wasn’t going to let others sway him away from his teachings.
Jesus submitted to his fathers will. He did not submit to the will of every person that came his way. He does however care for and loves every single person. He takes the time to stop, listen, and help each one of us. I think that is the true meaning of meekness. To first submit to our Father in heaven’s will. Then with the confidence gained from knowing you are in God’s will, to shine a light to others on this earth. To be kind, loving, and forgiving to them. There is a difference between holding someone else’s needs above your own, and letting them determine how you should live your life.
The bible study prompted us to do some further reading and pointed to Pslam 37. It talks about not fretting, instead trusting in the Lord. He is our strength. In the definition of meekness it says refraining from something because we defer it to God. I think it is so easy to want to take our battles into our own hands. “Well that person wronged me so I am going to do something about it.” It is easy to forget that God is over all. He knows our lives and guides us along if we are willing to follow. I think a huge part of meekness is giving up our battles and giving them to God. Because when we do that we are free to enjoy the beauty of life. When we aren’t consumed with hurt, fear, anxiety, or bitterness, we have the ability to free our hearts to the good things. To instead let love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance into our hearts. Against such there is no law.
I am challenging myself to look at meekness in my life. Where do I need to improve?
To give my battles to the Lord…..
To constantly surrender my will and seek the will of my Father in heaven….
To let go of all the icky things that can crowd my heart and focus on the fruit of the spirit
To let go of petty desires that seem so important….