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Nice & Meek

My coworkers & I have been reading and discussing Humility by Andrew Murray. It has been really thought-provoking, and I'm thoroughly enjoying it. There has been some push-back (especially from the guys) on some of the language that Murray uses, especially his use of "meek" and "lowly." In our day and age, those words just don't fly. So the question is then - is it the biblical concept that we don't like, or just the language we use to describe it? (Oh, semantics! How I love my degree...) Because Jesus clearly referred to himself as meek and lowly. And commended others for their meekness.

What is meekness, exactly?

Well, that is a great question.

I really liked this explanation, from Barnes NT Notes:

Meekness is patience in the reception of injuries. It is neither meanness, nor a surrender of our rights, nor cowardice; but it is the opposite of sudden anger, of malice, of long-harboured vengeance.

Meekness produces peace. It is proof of true greatness of soul. It comes from a heart too great to be moved by little insults. It looks upon those who offer them with pity. He that is constantly ruffled, that suffers every little insult or injury to throw him off his guard, and to raise a storm of passion within, is at the mercy of every mortal that chooses to disturb him. He is like the troubled sea that cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt.


And add this statement from Robertson's NT Word Pictures:

It [meekness] is the gentleness of strength, not mere effeminacy.

Hm. I like. It reminds me of what someone once said. "The greatest strength is power under restraint."

I like the concept, but don't really like calling it "meekness." Meek has too many negative connotations. So now the hunt for a new word has begun...

Comments

paulman said…
Maybe a good example of meekness is the guy who is calm after getting cut off on the road :P
Laura J said…
Why does meek have negative connotations? We put too much stock in power and our warped sense of what power looks like. Maybe we should use the word meek in all it's glory until people get it.

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