September 3, 2010
I Can Do Angry All by Myself
John UpChurch, Editor, Jesus.org
I can do angry; angry is easy. In my thirty years, I've punched and kicked my way through unassuming sheetrock that happened to be in the way. My hand has felt the crunch of doorjambs and bricks and punching bags. I've screamed and growled and shown my vocal displeasure until my throat burned. I've done angry.
Meekness, now that's the hard part. Not only does the concept of being meek run contrary to passionate heroes of our post-modern world, the very definition has become polluted. Meekness means rolling over and letting others walk on you; it means imposing your will through passive resistance; it means losing out. On that day over 2,000 years ago, however, Jesus had none of those definitions in mind.
After all, Jesus, who is our example of a suffering servant, stormed into the temple and flipped over the tables of the moneychangers. He made a whip and drove people out—something He likely did not once, but twice during His time on earth. For days, He took over the temple and wouldn't let anyone so much as carry religious souvenirs through the structure.
I don't know about you, but that's my kind of meekness.
David, the man who slew Goliath and sawed off his head, was meek. Paul, the man who gave Peter an earful and went round after round with Jews and Greeks, was meek. Ruth, the woman who pursued Boaz from the field to the storehouse, was meek.
So, what separates those giants of the faith from the pedantic rage I've shown in my life? What distinguishes flipping over tables from flipping out? They were meek, and I haven't always been.
The type of meekness that Jesus means is not one that forbids anger or action. Forbidding anger would be forbidding part of what makes us in God's image. Those who will inherit the earth are those who have figured out one key ingredient to life: letting God deal with it, whatever that it might be. In other words, David didn't kill Goliath; God did by using David's stone.
Intersecting Faith & Life:
Much human passion is driven by a need to do things our way. We rage against circumstances and people we can't control. The opposite of that is not a passionless existence. Jesus displayed a great deal of passion while being whipped, beaten, and crucified. With that passion, he finished the work of redemption and asked the Father to forgive the very people who had placed Him on the cross.
From His example we learn a sure definition: Meekness means turning our passion into a focus on God and letting Him work the way He intends. When we do that, we have the promise of an inheritance that can be compared to nothing else.