Meekness Vs. Weakness

Many people believe that to be meek is to be weak. As children, we are told to stand up for ourselves. “You better not start a fight,” our parents warned, “but if someone starts a fight, then you better finish it.” Aaron Tippin sang, “You’ve got to stand for something or you’ll fall for anything.”
Many have internalized this advice as gospel truth, but we have to ask… what is Jesus advice when you are wronged? The answer is not a comfortable one. He says, “but love your enemies, and do good, and lend expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for He is kind to the ungrateful and the evil.” Then He adds, “Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful” (Luke 6:35).
Did you catch that? Jesus said that there is great reward in meekness. He says that through showing mercy, loving your enemies, giving freely and doing good, you prove yourself to be “sons of the Most High.” By being kind even to the ungrateful and evil you demonstrate that the Lord is your Father and the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
We have to consider the converse of Jesus’ advice to the wronged because the converse is the advice that we commonly receive. What reward is there in returning evil for evil? What blessing comes from seeking vengeance? What is edifying about taking the opportunity to tell somebody off? Jesus answered that very question in the sermon on the mount. “If you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors (the worst sinners of all) do the same? Do not even the Gentiles (people outside of God’s covenant) do the same” (Matthew 5:46-47)?
Meekness and selflessness do not reveal a weakness in you. It reveals strength. When you show kindness to those who would do you harm, you demonstrate the selfless love of Christ and Christ’s love is the most powerful force in the universe. It points people to the Most High God rather than the little god of self. His love changes hearts and minds in some, in others it makes them more angry and hateful. Either way God’s mercy and justice are shown through the love of Christ demonstrated by His followers.
I would add one more piece of advice in support of meekness versus weakness. Whenever you allow another person’s actions or words control over your own actions and words, you forfeit the very thing that makes you uniquely human—the freedom to choose. We are not animals. Our choice is not to fight or flight. Humans have a third choice which is to reason with one another and talk things out. Whenever the other person insists on being unreasonable, you have a fourth choice—to forgive.
In his book, I’m Okay, You’re Okay, author Thomas Harris explains that every human is controlled by at least three different inner-voices. The first is the child. The child is selfish and insists on its own way. The second is the parent. The parent is formed by our perception of our parents and how they raised us. The parent is most concerned with punishing bad behavior. Finally, we have an inner adult. The adult mediates between the parent and the child and leads us to make mature decisions.
Remember this the next time you are engaged in a conflict or confrontation. You control which inner-personality is in control of you. Just because the inner-child is in control of the other person does not mean that your inner-adult cannot be in control of you. When the inner-child is speaking through the other person, resist the urge to let your inner-parent come through. Remember, you can be the adult. You chose how you respond.
Meekness is not weakness. Meekness is Christlikeness. Meekness is edifying. Meekness glorifies God for His mercy and His justice. To display meekness, show mercy, and forgive is to prove that you are a child of God and this world is not your home.
When you make the choice to turn the other cheek, go the extra mile, lend expecting nothing in return, you lean into what makes you uniquely human. When you are kind and loving to your enemies, you actually display great strength. Reframe what it means to “stand up for yourself.” By not returning evil for evil you stand up for the person God created you to be.