by Dr. Jack Hyles (1926-2001)
(Chapter 22 from Dr. Hyle's excellent book, Blue Denim and Lace)
"Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth." (Matthew 5:5)
"But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price." (I Peter 3:4)
"But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness." I Timothy 6:11)
"Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted." (Galatians 6:1)
"To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men." (Titus 3:2)
The word "meekness" in the Bible comes from the word "mecca" which means level. It does not mean, as some would think, that one looks up to everyone else and thinks of himself as being inferior. Meekness is not fright, neither is it possessing an inferiority complex, but rather it is looking to everyone from a level position. Meekness looks up to no one and down to no one. Meekness does not look up to the rich, nor down to the poor; up to the educated, nor down to the uneducated; up to the higher ranks, nor down to the lower rank.
Of course, I do not know who the best Christian in the word is, but whoever he is, he does not know it. In fact, he does not think of himself at all. His greatness is lost in obedience to his Saviour. I do not know who the biggest preacher in the word is, but whoever he is, he does not know it. I do not know who the greatest person in the word is, but whoever he is, he has not found out about it yet. It has been my joy to meet some of the great Christians of our generation and to fellowship with some of the greatest servants of God living today. I have noticed in every case that these men do not feel either inferior or superior.
This does not mean, however, that we are not to respect authority. We certainly ought to respect the position of our superiors, but we are not to idolize their person. Romans 13 tells us that we are to respect the authority of rulers. Ephesians 6:1 reminds us that we are to respect the authority of our parents. Ephesians 6:5 tells us that we are to respect the authority of our employers. Certainly we are to respect the authority of age and the position of the pastor. We are to give respect to those who have had more success than we, those with more experiences than we, and those who teach us or have taught us.
I can recall my mother teaching me about the subject of meekness when I was a little boy. She told me never to look up to anyone or down to anyone. She taught me to respect the position of my superiors and of those in authority over me, but she reminded me that though I was a poor boy, I should look everyone straight in the eye. What a tremendous truth this is and how necessary it is to the molding of the character of our youth.
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“I am an old-fashioned preacher of the old-time religion,
warmed this cold world's heart for two thousand years.” —Billy SUNDAY