When we have acknowledged our poverty(poor in spirit) and chosen God to be our redeemer, when we have mourned all the losses and pain and suffering we have endured, then the next step is to be meek. Meekness or humility is not a quality that we Americans seek, so this is the third countercultural move that Christ calls us to after admitting our poverty and powerlessness and grieving our losses and pain. We are moving, bit by bit, issue by issue into a whole new relationship with life. Meekness is translated from the Greek word praus as “gentle, meek, the positive moral quality of dealing with people in a kind manner, with humility and consideration, gentle, meek.”
Humility. Gentleness. Consideration. These definitions remind me of the fruit of the spirit which grows in us as we give our lives over to God: peace, joy, love, patience, goodness, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control or humility (Galatians 5:22-23). Paul is echoing Jesus’s teaching in the Beatitudes about humility in his letter to the Galatians. And isn’t that how we’d all like to be treated? With patience, goodness, kindness, gentleness, etc.? And don’t these nine attitudes define what love is?
If we consider ourselves just one of God’s children in this world, albeit a Christian, among some seven billion others, we are to have the attitude of oneness with every other human being, for aren’t we all sinners, don’t we all fail in some ways to follow God’s laws and the spirit of the law? I am not better than you or any other person, no matter my education, work, country, race. There is nothing in God’s eyes that would put me ahead of anyone else. Now, of course, God prefers that we repent of our sins and turn to Him, but He welcomes the errant sons and daughters just like the father in the parable of the Prodigal Son did. He not only welcomed his son back, but he didn’t chastise him at all; he celebrated his return and welcomed him back into his rightful place in the family (Luke 15:11-32).
That is our God whom we love and serve. We are His servants and as such we seek to obey His commands and His purposes for us. He is our leader in how to live, in how to respond to this person or that situation. He heals us and helps us in everything that we put before Him. And the more we ask Him for help, the more we see His unfailing care for us, and the more we realize that, unwarranted and undeserved as that help is, still He loves us and will help us always. And so, we live in gratitude for His unfailing love and comfort and help. And we realize that it is only God that stands above the human race and deserves our attention and service.
And, we realize that He wants my help, your help, as flawed as we are, to spread the word about His gracious, undying love and forgiveness. And that is humbling, to say the least. God needs us to reflect His love and forgiveness to the world! I turn to Paul’s letters and his own humility to learn how to be humble, no matter what. Here’s what Paul writes in Acts 20:
“And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there. I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me. However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace” (v. 22-24).
What a statement of humility and service! Oh, that we might echo the same sentiment in our own lives. For Paul never felt alone. He drew his strength from the Holy Spirit who supported him mightily through beatings and shipwrecks and prisons and all that Paul went through. And He was always at his assigned work of planting and solidifying the presence of the church in the Mediterranean world. Oh, that we might do what we are called to do with the same presence, persistence, humility and faith! Amen!
Questions to ponder over the week: Am I humble or do I see myself as better than other people, either in my devotion to God or in all my good qualities? Am I just one of the many of God’s children in this world? Or do I depend on all the worldly “blessings” to me, whatever power and advancement and status that I have in the world? Is that status more important to me than my place in the kingdom of God?
Blessing for the week: May we be the people of God who are humble, who are gracious and welcoming to every other person in this world, all children of God. May we be loving and compassionate and patient and kind to everyone.
For the month of March I am giving away a 10-week journaling guide to Jesus’s Two Great Commandments which is designed to deepen your faith in God and in these Two Great Commandments. If you are interested, email me at email@example.com and I will email you a pdf file of the guide.
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 Edward W. Goodrick & John R. Kohlenberger III, Zondervan NIV Exhaustive Concordance, Second Edition, (Grand Rapids MI, Zondervan Publishing House), 1999, Strong’s #4558, p. 1585