Monday, September 5, 2011

Meekness & Not-So-Precious Moments

Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun. Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes. Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret—it leads only to evil. For those who are evil will be destroyed, but those who hope in the LORD will inherit the land. A little while, and the wicked will be no more; though you look for them, they will not be found. But the meek will inherit the land and enjoy peace and prosperity. Psalm 37:5-11

Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth. Matt. 5:5

Recently, I have been feeling like I need to learn about meekness and what it's all about. Because I know I'm a lot of things, but pretty sure meek is not one of them. For some reason, anytime I think of or see the word meek I get an image of a little girl. Specifically a Precious Moments girl, cleaning. Weird, right? Funny thing, I just googled "Meek + Precious Moments" and this is what popped up:

Ha! Apparently I was exposed to this mug at some point in my life because this is the quiet little cleaning girl that I have always associated with meekness! I am going to have to get one of these mugs, for sure...

Thanks to the people at Precious Moments (and to this John Piper sermon from 1986) I now have a pretty good initial grasp of what meekness looks like and look forward to learning more. I highly recommend listening and studying the scripture, but here is the short version:

The Meek:
Trust in God
Commit their ways to Him
are quiet and wait on the Lord
Don't fret over the wicked
Posses peaceful freedom from fretful anger
Roll their anxieties onto the Lord
are not defensive
are eager to learn
are slow to speak and quick to listen James 1:19–21
are slow to anger (note: this is different from never being angry)
are open to reason
are open to correction
Count the blows of a friend as precious (ouch!)
Critique others only from the deep conviction of their own fallibility Galatians 6:1–2
Care more about the truth than being right (whoa!)

Loved this insight:
"Too often we think this is the spirit of meekness. Two people making no claim on the other person's opinion, refusing to submit their own opinion to an independent standard of truth, unwilling to make themselves vulnerable to the claims of truth and the possible need to admit error—that is not the spirit of meekness, no matter how soft-spoken or self-effacing it looks on the outside. It is not self-effacing. It is self-protecting and truth effacing. What could be more serviceable to the spirit of pride than the view that neither you nor I have to give an account of our opinions before any standard but our own private selves."
One other thing Piper talked about in this is when you are having one of those days that is absolutely rotten, everything is going horrible and just when you think it can't get any bang your head on a cabinet or something like that...and you just want to go off on anyone or anything you can. Well, meekness doesn't do that. Meekness just absorbs that blow and keeps on going, joyfully.

So being the Teacher that He is, of course this morning I dropped my coffee cup on the floor and it went everywhere. All over me, my computer, the floor and just a bit ago I saw that it had even splashed up on the ceiling, too! The morning I had leading up to the coffee was NOT the greatest and I was thinking that the cup of coffee was going to be God's little gift to me for making it through everything else meekly. Ha! I won't say what actually happened when I dropped the cup (What do you think happened?!)

Me, meek? Not so much. I was kinda scared to learn about meekness because I thought I was going to have to stop talking as much and like dusting more. Turns out--it's going to be waaaay harder than just that! But the good news is that I have a Helper and the most valuable of rewards awaiting.
"The quietness and openness and vulnerability of meekness is a very beautiful and a very painful thing. It goes against all that we are by our sinful nature. It requires supernatural help. And that help is available, thank God!
And the primary way that he will help you is to assure your heart that you are a fellow heir of Jesus Christ and that the world and everything in it is yours. He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, will he not freely give us all things with him? All things! No good thing will he withhold from those who walk uprightly."  

*All quotations in this post came from Desiring God, Blessed Are the Meek.

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