Posted by: Dr Churchill | June 18, 2021

Is meekness strength?

Is meekness strength?

Is meekness and the quality of humility, as exemplified by Jesus of Nazareth, whom all Christians understand as the Son of God who empties himself of his heavenly power to become a human for the salvation of the world — ultimately his greatest STRENGTH ?

It just might be because in this instance of Christian glory, beyond his divine strength, as a human — Jesus is strong in word and deed. He works as a carpenter, a healer, a rabbi, a teacher, a church builder and a rebellious leader of the nation of faithful that challenges the concurrent religious leaders who do not live according to their own laws.

Such strength is bridled with gentle compassion.

Overturning social conventions, Jesus restores dignity to people on the edges, such as women, children, the sick, and sinners.

He touches the untouchable and welcomes outcasts. He teaches his followers to do the same, and to love not only each other but even their enemies because all people are beloved of God.

Everything Jesus does is in service to God the Father and others, even to the very end. Threatened by his teachings and their reception, religious leaders conspire to put him to death.

“Behold the man!” Pontius Pilate says, presenting before the crowd the King of the Jews , crowned humiliatingly with thorns and wearing a purple robe. They respond, “Crucify him! Crucify him!”

But even this, Christians believe, is a part of Jesus’ plan; he knows that only by voluntarily offering his life can he conquer sin and death, rising from the dead three days later and rescuing captives from hell along the way.

His victory comes through self-sacrifice – Jesus conquers evil through the cross, which an ancient Christian hymn calls “the weapon of peace.”

Jesus, “God made man,” encouraging men to emulate Jesus’ “manly virtues” of compassion, humility, and purpose is a good tiding for all of us to become Servant Leaders…

It is the Son of God humbling himself to save us, men practicing meekness relate to others not from a position of superiority or domination but of equality and generosity. 

In other words, the fierce hunter-warrior becomes a loving father; his power combines with the aforementioned virtues of compassion, humility, and purpose. I believe that this strength expressed in gentle love – which I understand as meekness – displays a healthy model of masculinity.

But again, what makes such meekness masculine? Indeed, women too can be strong, and they are; thus, they can also express their strength in love.

However, historically, most men have inherited status and privilege that women have not, and on average, men are understood to possess greater physical strength than women.

Thus, men often have the unique choice between either abusing such power (resulting in toxic masculinity) or channeling it for the good of others (resulting in healthy masculinity) like the Son of God did when he was humbling himself to save us — strong leading men practicing meekness, relate to others not from a position of superiority or domination, but of equality and generosity.

Because such meekness involves voluntarily laying aside the privilege and pride that can come with manhood, cultivating the virtue may be more challenging for men than women. At the same time, contemporary Western society tends to prize strength while overlooking gentleness, regardless of gender. The call to meekness is not for men alone. When Jesus taught “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth,” he was speaking to men and women, both of whom must use their strength, in whatever form they have it, to conquer only evil and not other people; to bless and embolden others, not to diminish them.

Rather than abolishing power, Jesus teaches how to wield it rightly by being the Servant Leader as when he washed the feet of the Apostles…

“You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them.

Not so with you.

Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave – just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Yours,

Dr Churchill

PS:

This is the way, for all who seek the kingdom of God, because Jesus triumphs over evil and saves the world through meekness. Jesus is the ultimate hero from whom men can learn how to be men as God intends, using their power in loving service.


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