meekness, not a valued virtue in America or the world

Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.

Matthew 5:5

Meekness is not easy to define, but it is essentially the commitment stamped in one’s character to trust in God so that under pressure, one refuses to take matters into one’s own hands. Instead one presses on to do the will of God in Jesus, which means taking the way of the cross.

A strength of meekness is both gentleness and humility. One is willing to give deference to others and is reluctant to act when it may contradict what another wants. And when one does act, they seek to do so with the utmost wisdom out of love.

Meekness is not a virtue that is admired by the world, including America. It has been denigrated and even villified, partly due to misunderstanding it, and also due to a value system that is not only different than that of God’s kingdom come in Jesus, but is in actual opposition to it. Power is strength in the world’s eyes, while weakness is strength in God’s eyes. Why? Because one is dependent on God in the way of the cross.

Meekness is misunderstood in that it is thought that one does not resist evil unless they use force against those who may be victimizing them. Instead the way of Jesus is the way of resisting evil with love, and the faith which trusts God for the outcome even in the face of evil. Wisdom may be to flee. For example no woman should put up with a physically abusive husband (or vice versa), and should not have to live or even remain married to such, if there is no change. And with that abandonment I think there are grounds for divorce and remarriage.

Meekness is not considered practical in the world, but actually may prove effective up to a point. But it can be completely practiced only in the context and reality of God’s grace and kingdom come in Jesus. It is in Christ and in his body the church that the gospel is known and lived in and lived out in the world, a fruit of which is meekness.

And so we follow on in the way of the Crucified Resurrected Lord in the way of meekness with each other and in the world. Confident of the full victory of God in Jesus to come, a victory which will be marked by love in overcoming evil in terms of judgment and salvation.


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