As I mentioned in my last post, "meek" is defined as "gentle, forgiving, benevolent" - with benevolent defined as "kindly generous". Initially, I saw these as three distinct aspects of meekness, but today it hit me that they simply are different ways to say the same thing.
I was participating in a discussion thread on Times & Seasons that was getting fairly polarized, particularly between a couple of commenters. I identified immediately with one of those commenters, and I was about to respond to something the other one said - something with which I disagreed. Suddenly, it hit me - right out of the blue:
I could be "gentle" in my response, by softening what I felt like saying; I could be "forgiving" in my response, by not taking his comments personally - which would lead me to be less harsh and more gentle in my response and softening what I felt like saying; I could be "benevolent" (kindly generous) in my response, by pausing before I responded and really thinking about if there was something of value in his comments - something I could compliment or from which I could learn - which would cause me to be less harsh and more gentle and soften what I felt like saying. Any one of these initial efforts would lead automatically to the other two - making my response, if I chose to pursue it in that manner, more gentle, forgiving and benevolent - making me more meek in my response.
What hit me tonight is that meekness is not an action; it is a way of seeing things - a viewpoint - a perspective - an outlook - an attitude. We don't act meekly; we are meek. Iow, actions don't bring meekness; meekness inspires actions.
So far, I have experienced spiritual poverty, mourning with those who mourn (and comforting those who stand in need of comfort) and meekness all as characteristics that "bring forth fruits meet for repentance" that changes how I act - NOT as the result of my actions.
I think we need to stop trying so hard to DO and focus instead on BECOMING. The "do" will happen as a direct result - only it will be His fruits rather than our works. Rather than asking, "What would Jesus do?", perhaps we should be asking, "Who has Jesus asked me to become?" Maybe learning that difference is what my resolution truly is about.
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