Meditations on Meekness - Part 3
In our meditations on meekness we would do well to seek to understand that phrase, “the meekness of wisdom”. What does it mean? A few things:
1) Meekness is wise. The wiser you are the meeker you are. What is true of one is true of the other. The meekness of wisdom is not earthly and of the devil but is from above (James 3: 15,17). This meekness can be observed. It is seen in wise living –“by his good conduct let him show his works…”
2) Meekness is slow to anger. “Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense” (Proverbs 19:11 cf. James 1:19). Its passions and its tongue are under control (James 3:1-5; 4:1). Meekness isn’t bitter and envious, and puffed up with selfish ambition that causes “disorder” in the church (James 3:16). It is patient but that doesn’t mean that meekness is never righteously angry. Jesus was “meek and lowly in heart” (Mathew 11: 29) but he was angry at the pride and lack of repentance in the Pharisees (Mark 3:5).
3) Meekness loves truth and peace. It is “first pure, then peaceable” (James 3:17). Meekness doesn’t mean “easy going”. The most laid-back people are sometimes the most proud and angry inside. Meekness will passionately contend for truth even if that means disagreement and suffering. But it is not contentious. It desires peace and is gentle (James 3: 17). It is neither self-preserving nor self promoting. We could say that it is unswerving in pursuit of truth but gracious and forbearing with others.
4) Meekness is teachable. “Let him receive with meekness the implanted word”
(James 1: 21). Meekness sits well under authority, loves to learn and is open to correction. Wise meekness is “open to reason” (James 3: 17). It is ready to defer to others and ultimately to the Word of God. Even when compelled to correct and restore an erring brother, meekness will do so in a circumspect way, taking the log out of its own eye first (Matthew 7:5) and understanding its own frailties (Gal. 6: 1).
5) Meekness is merciful. In fact it is “full of mercy” - marked by mercy. It is eager to forgive an offence, desires truth and peace, doesn’t assert itself and doesn’t think too highly of itself. How can it do this? Meekness is gripped by how much mercy it has received from God and joyfully and therefore unconditionally offers this to others. It knows it infinitely rich in Jesus. It knows that “the meek shall inherit the earth” (Matthew 5:5).
Let us press on together in the meekness of wisdom.