Are you meek?
A fruit of the Holy Spirit is meekness (Galatians 5,22). The Greek word for it is "praotes", which means meek or considerate; it expresses what is meant by "a soul of man". Gentleness and consideration are shown in some Bible translations such as the New Geneva Translation (NGÜ) used interchangeably.
The Bible places great emphasis on gentleness or consideration. It says: "the meek will receive the earth as property" (Matthew 5,5). However, meekness is not a very popular or widespread word today. Our society is obsessed with being aggressive. To move forward, you have to swim with the sharks. We live in an elbow society and the weak are quickly pushed aside. However, it is a big mistake to combine meekness with weakness. Gentleness or consideration is not a weakness. Jesus described himself as a meek person, and he was far from a weak, spineless sissy who avoided all problems (Matthew 11,29). He was not indifferent to his surroundings or the needs of others.
Many legendary historical figures such as Lincoln, Gandhi, Einstein and Mother Teresa have been gentle or considerate but not fearful. They did not have to demonstrate their importance to others. They had the intent and ability to face any obstacle that was put in their way. This inner determination is very valuable to God (1 Peter 3,4) It takes a lot of inner strength to be really gentle. Gentleness is described as a strength under control.
It is interesting that the word "gentle" was seldom heard before the Christian era and the word "gentleman" was not known. This high quality of character is actually a direct by-product of the Christian era. Being meek or considerate is evident in what we think of ourselves and what we think of others.
How do we deal with others when we have power over them? Blessed is the man who does not hold back more than he should, when others praise and promote him, compared to the time in life when he was still a nobody.
We should be careful with the words we say (Proverbs 15,1: 25,11; 15). We should be careful how we treat others (1 Thess 2,7). We should be friendly with everyone (Philippians 4,5). It is not our beauty that God values in us, but our friendly and balanced nature (1 Peter 3,4). A meek is not out for confrontation (1 Cor 4,21). An indulgent person is kind to those who make mistakes and he knows that the wrong step could just as easily have happened to him! (Galatians 6,1). God calls us to be kind and patient towards everyone and to be lenient and loving with one another (Ephesians 4,2). When someone who has divine meekness is asked to give an answer, he does so confidently, not with an offensive attitude, but with meekness and due respect (1 Peter 3,15).
Remember, people with a meek character do not impute false motives to others while they justify their own behavior, as illustrated in the following account:
- When the other one needs a long time, he is slow.
If I take a long time, I am thorough.
- If the other one does not, he is lazy.
If I do not do it, I'm busy.
- When the other person does something without being told, he goes beyond his limits.
When I do, I take the initiative.
- If the other overlooks a graces, he is rude.
If I ignore the rules, I am original.
- If the other one satisfies the boss, he is a slime.
If I like the boss, I cooperate.
- If the other one gets on, he's lucky.
If I manage to get on, it's because I worked hard.
A gentle boss will treat staff the way they want to be treated - not just because it's right, but because he knows he might one day work for them.
by Barbara Dahlgren