Be the Good - Part 1
Country comedian, Jerry Clower, often told of his time in playing college football. One particular game against Baylor University, Jerry was lined up across from a guy he knew to be a preacher by the name of Mayfield. Clower said Mayfield was so mean that when he was ordained as a minister, he had two black eyes. As Jerry told it, on one play Mayfield forearmed him in the back of the head and shoved his face down in the dirt and grass. Jerry explained how his bottom lip and teeth just scooped up a big mouthful of dirt like a dragline. Clower jumped up spitting and knocking the grass and dirt out of his mouth and said to Mayfield, “Fella, you’re the dirtiest thing I’ve ever played against in all my life. And you’re supposed to be a preacher!” Then Mayfield stood up tall, stuck his chest out, popped his hand over his heart and pointed his long finger right in Jerry’s face and said, “The Bible says the meek shall inherit the earth.” Then Jerry simple says, “And I had just inherited a mouthful of it.”
Of all the attributes that one can think of, few people would list meekness among their most desirable. This may be due to a simple misconception as to what exactly meekness is. Certainly, meekness ranks rather high among the qualities Jesus deems important. Afterall, Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount, in Matthew 5:5, “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”
Too often, meekness is identified as shyness, timidity, or weak fear. Though, meekness has been defined as strength under control, and it is. However, it's important to note that meekness is so much more. Meekness is humble patience, gentleness, kindness. Meekness is patient endurance.
Perhaps one of the most well-known people in all the Bible is Moses. Moses was called by God to lead God’s people out of Egyptian bondage and on to the Promised Land of Canaan. I’m convinced that Moses was chosen by God not simply because he was a strong leader, but because he had another attribute that was vital to this mission. Many scholars suggest that some three million Israelites were part of the Exodus. That's a lot of people! Can you imagine leading that many people on a wilderness trek? When you think of a strong leader who has charge of a large number of people such as this, what attributes do you think would be present in that leader's life? We would expect that leader to be a powerful speaker, perhaps boisterous even. But that's not the case with Moses. In Numbers 12:3, the Bible says, “…Moses was very meek, more than all people who were on the face of the earth.” God knew that the leader of his people would face enormous pressure and frustration along the way. God knew that the leader of his people would need to have the kind of demeanor that's capable of patiently enduring all the struggles that would come his way. And Moses was that kind of leader.
Think about Jesus. He patiently endured the mocking, beating, and torture of the cross. In his life, Jesus demonstrated a quiet strength that is unparalleled. Jesus told his followers in Matthew 11:29, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am meek and lowly in heart…” Jesus was humbly patient, gentle and kind, and he patiently endured hardship and suffering for you and me.
We all know that disappointments and discouragement will come in life. But when we patiently endure hardships and frustrations we show Christ to the world. We need to remember that the same God who was with Moses as he patiently endured the wilderness wandering, the same God that was with Christ as he patiently endured mocking and humiliation, is with us even today. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Matthew Henry observed, "Meekness is calm confidence, settled assurance, and rest of the soul. It is the tranquil stillness of a soul that is at rest in Christ. It is the place of peace. Meekness springs from a heart of humility, radiating the fragrance of Christ." As we face challenges, disappointments and frustrations, let's remember that God is always with us, caring for us, loving us, protecting us. Let's remember that as we patiently endure the hardships of this life, we show the spirit of Christ to others. So, let’s be the good and be meek!