Happiness Part 3 – Meekness
When my son grows up he wants to be tough. He wants to chop logs with an axe. He wants to drive a monster truck. He wants to be a rich and famous volcanologist and an inventor of gloves that can hold lava.
And as his dad, I’m secretly quite proud of his aspirations. What dad doesn’t want a ‘tough’ son? But would I, or any parent be just as proud if our children told us one day, “Dad, when I grow up, I want to be meek”?
What comes to mind when we hear someone described as meek? A timid, shy person? A weak person? The skinny guy on the beach having sand kicked in his face?
And yet, Jesus said, it is The Meek who will be supremely happy. (Matthew 5 : 5)
As is often the case, to make sense of Jesus’ statements requires a little exploring of the actual words in the Bible. The Bible word for meek is the same word used to describe a young horse, wild donkey, or young colt, broken and harnessed for service.
Meekness is not strength reduced, but strength channelled through discipline.
For the Christian meekness is the submission of our hearts, strengths and gifts to a master, Jesus Christ.
This may sound like a negative thing. However, great power or strength unrestrained will lead to great destruction. My motorcycle has the ability to travel at speeds of over 100mph, and arrive there in a fiendishly short space of time (allegedly, according to the handbook.)
However, if I attempt to pilot it as such speeds around Caerphilly, the laws of physics and the law of the land will kick in and nasty things will happen to me. The power of the machine must be submitted to sense.
Even Jesus was a submitted man. He had the power to command in excess of 12 legions of angels to rescue him from the cross yet submitted to his father’s will and chose not deliver himself from his crucifixion. (A legion of soldiers in the Roman army refers to at least 6,000, so 12 legions of angels referred to at least 72,000 angels.)
That is submission! Imagine not using force, power, influence or control to get out of difficult situations, or to get someone to do or not do something you desire?
So we submit to Jesus to be sure, but also to the ‘agents of authority’ that Jesus has placed in our lives. In marriage, we submit to each other without complaining. We put the bins out without being grumpy. We pick up dirty laundry without making a fuss, and put the seat down because someone likes it…
We submit to our bosses at work and are pleasant even when they make decisions which we would have made differently. We submit to each other and our leaders at church, being the best, most reliable, pleasant, serving, friendly and dependable member there is.
And we submit to the authorities. We pay council tax with a good heart, even when it hurts. We speak in gracious tones concerning our politicians, police, nurses, doctors, teachers and civil servants,,, and whoever it was that decided to take 12 months to improve Pwll-y-Pant roundabout! And we do so, not because they always make good decisions, but sometimes despite the decisions!
…and then we win favour. In our marriages. In our workplace. In our communities…we ‘inherit the earth.’ Jesus, you are a genius.