We’ve all been there. That moment you realize what you said or how you responded to someone was tarried in indignation. In fact, you may have even been proud of yourself (in secret, of course) for reacting with such fervor.
But the afterthought still lingers in your mind. Was this the right level of engagement? Did you get your point across while not sacrificing your own sense of morality and emotional stability? Or, on the contrary, will it only lead to disastrous effects?
If you’re like me, there’s some conversations I wish I could do over. I’d like to be more poised, confident, compassionate, non-defensive, genuine. And maybe most of all, not be so full of myself.
In other words, I’d like to be meek.
I had always thought the definition of the word “meekness” was more related to “weakness” or “vulnerability” or “naiveté,” rather than in close relationship to the word “strength.” But that was before I read Momentum by Colin S. Smith.
This book is fascinating. Through the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:3-12), pastor and writer Smith takes the reader through an incredible journey of inner strength-training exercises, illustrated by how a gymnast would progress on the rings, stretching and reaching toward one ring after the other until the series is complete. (Think about swinging through the “monkey bars” on the elementary playground…) It’s a process, and you need each ring to make it to the next without falling on your face.
Throughout the book each Beatitude, or ring, is defined and its rich meaning expanded upon, but the one that intrigued me most was on meekness. (Matthew 5:5 Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.)
In this context, meekness is strength, controlled strength. It’s a way to self-manage your temper and irrational impulses, transforming them into something much more meaningful and effective. Smith calls out how meekness “brings order out of chaos in the soul.” I like that. I want that.
On the flip side, the more one grows in meekness, the less you’ll operate under pride, sharp judgements and underlying distress.
The author points out at the beginning of this particular chapter how meekness can be confusing in relation to modern-day nomenclature. Case in point: when I used my Dictionary app, one of the definitions of meekness was labeled as “obsolete,” but it described the word as “gentle” and “kind.”
This is the kind of meekness we’re called to in the Beatitudes. I just need to keep reaching for more of it.
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