** Put on therefore, …meekness….** Colossians 3:12
Continuing with our look at Colossians 3, we are going to talk a little about meekness. I have generally thought that humility and meekness meant the same thing. But after comparing several verses, it seems to me that humility or humbleness of mind has to do with our attitude about ourselves compared to others. If we are being humble, we are treating others as though they are worthy of honor and respect. We are not feeling, thinking or acting superior to them. At the very least, we are trying to treat everyone as an equal.
But, meekness is a little different. It may be the fruit of humility but it does have a character of its own. I think of Jesus when he dealt with children or women or those who came to Him for healing. He was gentle with them. Patient. He dealt with all of them with humility, fairness and respect. But instead of the harsh, dismissing attitudes of the Pharisees of that time, Jesus treated others with gentleness.
He spoke clearly and calmly and justly with nearly everyone. He understood that not everyone had His understanding or His priorities. He spoke gently to each one and helped them with what they perceived to be their most important need, like healing them from an illness. He was not condescending or judgmental or impatient. He found many different ways to explain the same principles so that as many people as possible could grasp his teachings. I wonder if we are that patient and dedicated to the well being of others.
In 2 Corinthians 10, Paul reminds the Corinthian church of the meekness and gentleness of Christ. I believe that Jesus was Paul’s greatest mentor and that it was a challenge for him to emulate the Spirit of Christ as it was so contrary to his own character. But whether he was able to get victory in this area or not, he didn’t stop pointing others to Him and the way that we should be. Paul said ** Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.** He didn’t want others to follow everything about him, just what mimicked Christ.
In Ephesians 4, Paul also tells the Ephesian church that meekness makes us worthy of serving the Lord. Anger, harshness, and being judgmental make us unworthy. Because we are giving a false idea of what a follower of Christ is. The New Testament Church doesn’t have statues and portraits to worship the Lord. We are His image to others. I wonder how others would describe Jesus from our example.
To Timothy, his son in the faith, Paul reminds Timothy to rebuke brothers in the faith that take sinful detours with gentleness. With meekness. Without causing an argument but patiently helping them to walk away from their situation.
** Let him show out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom. ** James 3:13
Here in James, we see the same principle. Meekness of wisdom. Knowledge, understanding, wisdom. The 3 necessary parts to helping others. —Know what you are talking about. Be able to explain it to others and be an example of that principle by living it. Live it without a bad attitude, without lording over others. But with wisdom. A right heart. Meekness. And gentleness.
Colossians 3 reinforces these ideas again and again. One step at a time. Mercy. Kindness. Humility. Meekness. It is a call to deepen our understanding of who we are in Christ. Servants with a pure heart. Servants and not masters. Kind not harsh. Humility replacing arrogance. Meekness replacing abrasiveness.
One last encouraging note….the Lord ** calls things that are not as though they were**…We might not be as meek today as we would like to be but the Lord sees us as a completed work and He is pleased with the final result. He is patient with us while we are in the learning process. Let’s be patient with ourselves.