Thursday, October 27, 2022

Meekness and Self-control (Matthew 11:20-30)

Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matt. 11:29).

Bearing the fruit of meekness or gentleness in our culture can be one of the most difficult struggles a Christian faces. In a society that exalts rough and tough language and posturing, in both women and men, the Christian truly goes against the grain when he exhibits meekness or gentleness. Women are praised for maintaining a tough and controlling image in an effort to gain a foothold in what feminists call a “male-dominated” world. The feminism movement strives, not to uphold feminine qualities, but to abolish them. 

Among other things gentleness is eradicated and a harsh bulwark of pride and abrasiveness is erected. Women are not the only ones to fall prey to the culture, but men also buy into the lie that meekness equals weakness, and that success is synonymous with arrogance and oppressive power.

The Scriptures, however, don’t see meekness as frail, timid, and fearful. Some of the most powerful people in Scripture were meek and self-controlled. The Bible calls Moses a humble servant, yet he led God’s people out of captivity and to the promised land. Humility, gentleness, and meekness do not exclude strength, but presuppose it. The more power and authority you possess, the more you need meekness. Paul said in 2 Timothy that God did not give His people a spirit of timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. Jesus said, that the meek will inherit the earth. This promise does not indicate weakness, but gentleness and tenderness.

Have you bought into the culture’s lie that you need to be tough and abrasive in order to succeed and gain respect? If so, realize that this is not from the Spirit, but from the world. God commands His people to be gentle toward one another, to season their words with salt, to be compassionate and loving. To accomplish this, one must have self-control. The Christian should be growing in the ability to bridle wild impulses and an abusive tongue. As you grow in self-control, you will find yourself able to respond with gentle words. If you let your tongue fly, you will usually be harsh and critical, but the words that are controlled will be more constructive, encouraging, and gentle. In so doing you encourage others and grow into maturity—to be gentle and self-controlled.

Read Isaiah 53. How does Jesus exhibit meekness and self-control as our Savior and Lord? If Jesus, who was innocent, showed gentleness and self-control in the face of His accusers, can you strive to do less? Do you have a problem with self-control and being gentle with others? Commit this to the Lord in prayer.