Are You Talking To Me?
“To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men.”
I was expelled from my Christian school my senior year, and I had been attending my new public school for a month or so. I showed up to my new school dressing like I did at my Christian school and people looked at me funny and snickered. I wore a sweater and khakis and they wore t-shirts and shorts. I soon built up a defense and was ready to go toe-to-toe with anyone who had something wise to say. I was quick to defend myself and accepted the challenge of anyone who wanted to test me.
I attended a basketball game at my old Christian school, and someone simply said, “Hi” to me, and I responded with a colorful response. He looked at me weird and I got in his face. He again looked at me with a confused expression and said “I was just saying hello”. I felt foolish as I thought he was trying to challenge me, but I did not offer an apology. I simply said, “hey, what’s up?” Sin made me angry, and I did not turn down any opportunity to get into a scuffle. I loved the excitement of it all and sought to punish others with the pain and anger I felt inside. I was not gentle nor was I meek, and I squandered opportunities to be a peacemaker.
Meekness is something I now admire, and I know God is honored with gentleness and meekness. I think of Moses and how he led a nation that constantly complained and even sought to kill him. He was a meek man and suffered long and even pleaded with God for the nation of Israel he led. Moses was not eager to put on his gloves and get in the ring, but he was one who showed concern and pleaded to God for the children of Israel. He was a humble man and God did great things through the life of Moses. God always promotes humility, but He despises the thoughts of a proud heart and the actions of those who are ready to brawl.
I think of Jesus who was led like a sheep to the slaughter, and He did utter a word nor did He resist. I think of the names they called Him and the physical abuse He was put through. He did not defend His honor neither did He square up with any of those who mistreated Him. He was filled with humility and gentleness, and was kind to all. He could have simply spoken words to defend Himself, but yet He advances Himself toward the cross. He was not worried about His honor but He was concerned about the souls of mankind. He is our example and the One we should follow in all meekness and humility.
Are you easily offended? Are you one who has battles with others? Are you one who is known as a brawler? Are you difficult to work with and/or live with? Do others enjoy your company or do you drive them to go in a different direction? Will you be gentle? Will you show meekness to all men? Will you humble yourself in the face of conflict? Will you show a lost world the example of your God? Will you show them that the Son of Man came to seek and to save that which was lost? May we be clothed with humility and may we be gentle to all men.
Stay in the fight!