Picture any one of these scenes:
Before your boss takes time to understand the situation, you are accused and put down before your co-workers (although you were in the right).
Before your parent takes time to understand you are accused, and put down about your foolishness and lack of responsibility (although what you did was what you were told)
Before your pastor and others at the church take time to understand, you are accused of being self-serving and your efforts go un-appreciated (although your countless hours of volunteering and concern for others are selfless and blameless)
Before your spouse takes time to understand your point of view, your spouse goes off on you regarding your foolishness and selfishness (although they have failed to see the reasoning for what you have done that it would make sense)
What is similar in all of these made up examples is a person falsely accused by someone. Have you ever been there ? My guess you have, just like I have. So, how should we respond. One option is puff out your chest and say, “that’s it! I have had enough of your _____ “. However, my guess is if you go that route, it is not going to end up well. Sure, you may feel go for a few seconds because you let them have it, but after the “tornado of your words” passes through, there is just painful clean up that will need to take place.
Another option is the route of “Meekness”. When I first say that word, what do you think of? Maybe you see a kid getting bullied on the playground- a “wimpy” kind of kid who cant’ defend himself.
But that is not the idea that really is behind the word, “meekness”. Biblically-speaking, the word means “power under control”. Picture you pulling up to a stoplight without anyone else on the road. Oh, by the way, you are driving a fast, very fast sportscar. As you daydream at the light, waiting for the color to change, another car pulls up next to you and starts revving up his engine. VROOM! VROOM! VROOM!
You know the power of your engine under your hood and you know you can beat him, but as the light turns green, you take your foot off the gas pedal, while the guy next to you speeds on off. You could have raced him, but you didn’t have to and you didn’t. That is being meek.
Think of the person, Moses in the Bible. The Bible says this about him: “Now the man Moses was very meek, more than all people who were on the face of the earth. (Numbers 12:3 esv)
Why was that? Well, although he had an intimate relationship with God and was being by used by God to deliver the Israelites from bondage in Egypt, the Israelites were not grateful for his efforts. In fact, it was just grumbling and grumbling, and grumbling against him. (Ex. 16:2, Numbers 14:2, Ex. 15:22-25, and so many more verses could be listed).
When Moses was abused, under-appreciated, rebelled against by the Israelites, he turned to God and voiced his concerns to Him (all but one time, Numbers 20:2-9—-but that action and attitude of taking matters into His own hands dishonored the Lord and by that one act, Moses was prevented from going into the Promised Land).
Let’s look at one other example from the Bible– Jesus. When Jesus was being arrested, his disciples tried to protect Him, but Jesus said He needed to let this happen (He restrained His power and let Himself be horribly abused, beyond-comprehension):
47While he was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, arrived. With him was a large crowd armed with swords and clubs, sent from the chief priests and the elders of the people. 48Now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them: “The one I kiss is the man; arrest him.” 49Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” and kissed him.
50Jesus replied, “Do what you came for, friend.”
Then the men stepped forward, seized Jesus and arrested him. 51With that, one of Jesus’ companions reached for his sword, drew it out and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear.
52“Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus said to him, “for all who draw the sword will die by the sword. 53Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels? 54But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen in this way?” (Matt. 26:47-54 esv)
Not responding to false accusations or attacks on your character strike at the very core of our pride. It is nearly impossible to keep from eventually having an outburst, however, with God all things are possible.
Here are just a few tips for you if you are experiencing one of these situations where you are being put under attack:
- back off from the situation and gather your thoughts
- pray (understand that you need to be utterly dependent on God to give you a proper perspective on suffering and trust that His Spirit will provide for you the calmness, the words, the attitude each and every moment, especially when you are interacting with a person with whom you are having conflict
- Recognize that through the power of God’s Spirit, you are being transformed to be more like Jesus Christ. That is awesome. But understand what that really looks like:
18Servants, be subject to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the unjust. 19 For this is a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly. 20 For what credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it, you endure? But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God. 21 For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. 22 He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. 23 When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. 24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. 25 For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls. (1 Peter 2:18-25 esv)
- Lastly, as one final benefit God promises to those who are meek – – Matthew 5:5 esv – “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” —although I don’t really understand that promise and what it actually means, it sounds pretty amazing!