I am enjoying the popular book Studies in the Sermon on the Mount, by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones. I’m reading it slow and blogging on it as I go. So far I have blogged an Introduction, and on the first two Beatitudes. This one, on meekness, is especially good.
To Be Meek
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
This third principle on meekness must be viewed in its relationship to the other Beatitudes; there is definitely a logical connection. In the first Beatitude on being “poor in Spirit,” we saw that the Christian is truly helpless without God; that he can do nothing without Him. And that should be our attitude. In the second Beatitude on “mourning” we saw that we must realize our own sinfulness. And for that realization we mourn. And so that should be our attitude. Thus we are helpless without God and we mourn over our sin.
In these first two principles we have been looking at ourselves. But in this third principle of meekness, this requires that I invite others to look at me and to interact with me; to be meek is the Christian attitude I am to have toward others. As Lloyd-Jones put it, “[Meekness] is to allow other people to put the searchlight upon me instead of doing it myself.” Also, we must keep in mind that the meek one always remembers who he is: he is one who is poor in spirit and a sinner who must mourn over his sin. With this attitude we are prepared to be meek toward others. Now what is meekness? How can I be meek? Here are four points that may be helpful.
1. Meekness is a Christian quality. It is produced in me by the Holy Spirit. It is listed in Galatians 5 as one of the gifts of the Spirit, often translated as “gentleness.” But we have to be careful here, because not all gentle people are meek. I mean some people appear to be gentle and very nice, but some of those people are not even Christians. So those people are not genuinely gentle and certainly not meek. I live in Minnesota and we have a saying, “Minnesota nice.” Yes, it is true that people in Minnesota appear to be very nice. But that’s not what true meekness is. Meekness is a genuine, deep-down gentleness we get from the Holy Spirit when we put our trust in God—when we allow Him to fill us with His Spirit.
2. Meekness is having an approachable and teachable attitude. Our best example on this is the Lord Jesus. He was always approachable and absent of any retaliation or pride. He was dependent entirely upon what His Father taught Him day by day. He often prayed long into the night and in the early morning, waiting to be taught of His Father. For me, I would say that meekness means to be a good listener and to be eager to learn.
3. Meekness is selflessness. The meek person does not assert himself, does not boast in self, does not defend or protect himself, does not demand anything for himself, and does not feel sorry for himself. Wow! That’s a tall order. Even the most Christian person will naturally want to defend himself and feel sorry for himself—once in a while, especially when others are putting him down. But we must remember that meekness is not a natural quality. It is of the Holy Spirit. Hence, true meekness will only appear in a person when he is filled with the Holy Spirit and is walking in the Spirit.
4. The meek person trusts God for everything. When he is persecuted and suffering, he will have no spirit of retaliation or feel sorry for himself. Instead, he will patiently leave everything in the hands of God, trusting Him to work everything out. We see this attitude in so many of the early saints like Moses, David, Jeremiah, Stephen, Paul, and of course Jesus, who came not to be ministered unto but to minister (Mark 10:45).
What will be the blessing for the meek?
Jesus says that they will inherit the earth. What does that mean? In a sense, those who are meek already inherit the earth. That is, they are blessed by God with satisfaction and contentment. And this is the way it works: the meek man gives up everything to God, and then, surprisingly, God gives him back everything. Yes, since he has Christ, he has everything. He has all things (that are of any value). This is true right now in this life, but it is also true in the next life; for we will be joint-heirs with Christ for eternity.
Do you want to be truly blessed now and for eternity? Do you want to enjoy Him to the fullest? Then open up your heart and strive to be meek.