by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (selected by Frank Cumbers)
The nature of meekness
[Meekness] is not a natural quality. It is not a matter of a natural disposition, because all Christians are meant to be like this. It is not only some Christians. Every Christian, whatever his natural temperament or psychology may be, is meant to be like this. Now we can prove that very easily. Take these various characters whom I have mentioned, apart from our Lord Himself, and I think you will find that in every case we have a man who was not hake this by nature. Think of the powerful, extraordinary nature of a man hake David, and yet observe his meekness. Jeremiah similarly lets us into the secret. He says he was almost like a boiling cauldron, and yet he was still meek. Look at a man like the Apostle Paul, a master mind, an extraordinary personality, a strong character; yet consider his utter humility and meekness. No, it is not a matter of natural disposition; it is something that is produced by the Spirit of God....
Meekness does not mean indolence. There are people who appear to be meek in a natural sense; but they are not meek at all, they are indolent. That is not the quality of which the Bible is speaking. Nor does it mean flabbiness.... There are people who are easy-going, and you tend to say how meek they are. But it is not meekness; it is flabbiness. Nor does it mean niceness. There are people who seem to be born naturally nice.... Nor does it mean weakness in personality or character. Still less does it mean a spirit of compromise or ‘peace at any price’.... Meekness is compatible with great strength ... with great authority and power ... God forbid that we should ever confuse this noble quality ... with something merely animal or physical or natural.
... meekness is not merely a matter of outward manner, but ... of inward spirit.... You cannot spend time with a verse like this [Matthew 5:5] without its humbling you. It is true Christianity; it is the thing for which we are called and for which we are meant.
Studies in the Sermon on the Mount, i, pp. 67–8
“Text reproduced from ‘A First Book of Daily Readings’ by Martyn Lloyd-Jones, published by Epworth Press 1970 & 1977 © Trustees for Methodist Church Purposes. Used with permission.”
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