It seems like our society today rewards those who are assertive, aggressive and willing to do whatever it takes, even if it means stepping on others, to get what they want. A lot of people, including Christians, often resist walking in humility because of their impression that humble people are taken advantage of and walked on by others.
But let's look at the example Jesus set for us. He was humble and meek and He had all the authority He ever needed. Remember when He was arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane? In the confusion and passion of the moment, one of Jesus' disciples took a sword and cut off the ear of one of the arresting soldiers.
In an act of mercy, and an incredible display of self-control and meekness, Jesus healed the soldier, then reprimanded His disciple. Jesus knew that it wasn't time to fight back or insist on His own way. He simply humbled Himself and submitted to the authorities…willingly giving Himself up as a sacrifice on the cross.
The amazing thing to me is that Jesus could have resisted. He had the power to call the angels for a dramatic rescue. He didn't submit because He was weak. On the contrary, He was intentionally meek. Meekness is really humble strength under control.
Humility is freedom from pride and arrogance. It's having a modest estimation of your own worth. You don't look down on yourself, but neither are you full of yourself. Humility is not thinking badly of yourself; it's just not having yourself on your mind all the time. It's having an awareness of your own defects. When we realize that we all have faults, we treat others much better. Humility means to be meek, not weak.
In Galatians 5:22,23, the apostle Paul describes the fruit of the Spirit: But the fruit of the [Holy] Spirit [the work which His presence within accomplishes] is love, joy (gladness), peace, patience (an even temper, forbearance), kindness, goodness (benevolence), faithfulness, gentleness (meekness, humility), self-control (self-restraint, continence). Against such things there is no law [that can bring a charge] (The Amplified Bible).
Paul tells us that gentleness (meekness or humility) is a fruit of the Spirit—it's one of the characteristics you should have if you call yourself a Christian. It's interesting…your nature is revealed not so much by your gifts as by your fruit. Like a tree or a plant, the real "you" is revealed by the fruit you bear.
When you take a picture of someone, their image is captured on the film inside the camera. You can't see the picture because it still needs to be developed in the darkroom. In a similar way, the "darkroom" of life's trials causes us to develop the fruit of the Spirit, which is put in us when we become new creations in Christ (see 2 Corinthians 5:17).
For example, when we are prideful, we go into the darkroom to receive God's correction and develop humility. Have you ever noticed that when you are full of yourself, full of pride, and don't get your way, you get very upset and are easily angered? But when you humble yourself and allow His meekness to become a part of your nature, you remain open to His direction in your life. It's humility and meekness that keep us open to the Holy Spirit, willing to learn.
God doesn't want you to be weak or taken advantage of. He doesn't want you to be walked on by others, but He does want you to be meek. He wants you to allow Him to develop the fruit of meekness in your life. He wants you to have a controlled strength about you—an assurance that God is in control and He'll always take care of you no matter what!
Author/teacher Joyce Meyer has been helping people overcome life's problems through biblical keys to practical Christian living since 1976. Her radio and television programs are broadcast throughout the United States and much of the world. For additional information, you may contact Joyce Meyer Ministries at P.O. Box 655, Fenton, Missouri 63026 or visit www.joycemeyer.org.
© 2007 Printed with permission of Joyce Meyer Ministries