"A virtue not greatly praised"
"Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart ..." (v.29, NKJV)
We come now to the eighth fruit of the Spirit
-- meekness or gentleness. The original Greek word, prautes, is translated in various ways in different translations of the New Testament. One version uses the word "tolerance," another "forbearance" and another "adaptability."The original Greek word has no exact synonym in English and after examining the various words used in the different translations of Galatians 5:22
, my personal opinion is that the Good News Bible
gets closest to it when it uses the word "humility." The words humility" and "meekness" are often seen together in the New Testament, as for example, in our text for today: "I am meek and lowly in heart." (Other examples are Eph. 4:2
and Col. 3:12
.)The Christian in whom the Spirit dwells is a person who is meek, gentle and humble. It has been said that apart from love, nothing is more characteristic of a Christian, and nothing more caricatured and misunderstood than humility. The world has never had much time for humility. "Throughout time," says one writer, "it is a virtue that has not been greatly praised -- except by a few."To understand humility calls for a piercing spiritual perception which is given only to those who know God. A lady came up to me at the end of a Bible study I had given on humility and said: "I do love to hear a preacher expound on the subject of humility. You see, it is one of the greatest qualities, and I want to know as much as I can about it." I felt that somehow, in seeking to walk the path of humility, she had lost her way.
Lord Jesus Christ, my Savior and my Redeemer, I long so much to be like You -- meek, gentle and humble. And as I seek to walk the path of humility, help me not to lose my way. In Your dear Name I ask it. Amen.
For Further Study
1. How is greatness shown in Christ's kingdom?
2. What does the Lord require of us?