Monday, January 17, 2011

January 17, 2011 … Gentleness (“Meekness”): Power Under Control

Passage of the Day: Ephesians 4: 2a … [See underlined and bold as highlighted verse] – As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. 2Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.

My Journal for Today: We return to the passage from Eph. 4: 1-2, the passage which launched us into this new year and our January devotions in John MacArthur’s Strength For Today. On Jan. 9, I covered one of the two attitude qualities Paul cited as necessary for the Christians to walk worthy in Christlikeness; and that was HUMILITY. Now today, we focus on the second of those two, MEEKNESS. By the way, in other translations, the concept of “meekness” is translated “gentleness” or “gentle” (see example in the NASB above).

Once again we remember that meekness and humility, are the only two character qualities that Christ used to describe Himself (see Matt. 11: 29). So, when one desires to be like Christ, these should be the two attitudes we focus on – first and foremost - to fulfill what Paul charged us to do in Phil. 2: 5

>>> SCRIPTURE: Phil. 2: 5 Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: …

So, having covered the quality of “humility” on 1/9, let’s now focus on “meekness.”

In our world, unfortunately the term “meek” is equated with “weak;” and that is far from the quality of meekness biblically. The Greek term for meekness, “praos,” accurately means strength under control; and Jesus was certainly the model of that. All of Phil. 2: 6-11 describes our Lord emptying Himself of the glory and majesty of the Godhead to become a humble man by His choice, which is the embodiment of the strength under control in meekness. The word pictures used by “praos,” from the Greek were either bringing a wild animal, like a horse, under the control of a master or a powerful medicine being used to soothe pain.

In our culture, our self-centeredness is often a quality that leads one to use personal strength or power to control others. Here, we see that “meekness” is controlling one’s strength in order to be humble and helpful to others. This is a fruit of God’s Spirit (see Gal. 5: 22 - 23) that God can use to help calm others or to bring order in the midst of chaos. Meekness (or “gentleness”) is not “wimpiness.” It’s the tamed lion licking the face of its trainer. It’s human power being brought under the control of The Master, our Lord, Jesus. When human reactions like anger or revenge are submitted to Christ, such meekness is rewarded with the peace of God (see Phil. 4: 6, 7). Meekness could be a medicine that soothes the savage pain of a hurting world. But we’ve got to be willing to humbly surrender our humanity to God’s Spirit in order to allow God’s enabling grace to develop the meekness that can produce God’s peace in our world.

How about you? Is “meekness” a word that could be used to describe your attitude of Christlikeness; or do you, as I do, have a way to go in developing a habit of meekness?

My Prayer Today: Lord, help me to walk worthy of Your Name in meekness. Amen

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