(I’ve been talking about how meekness makes you more respectable, and last week I explained that that is so, because meekness is victorious.)
Next, meekness is respectable because it is beautiful. Here, Matthew Henry defines beauty, which, if you’ve ever attempted to do, you will find is a difficult exercise. He says the beauty of something “consists in the symmetry, harmony, and agreeableness of all the parts: now what is meekness but the soul’s agreement with itself?”
We read in the Bible of three people whose faces shone with glory, and all three were known for their meekness. Moses was the meekest of all men on earth; Stephen’s face shone as he meekly prayed for his persecutors, submitting to death; and Christ, our great example of meekness, also shone during his transfiguration.
One time when we were visiting with an elderly lady, she told me, “You’re looking so beautiful today!…You look so peaceful.” I never would have made a connection between meekness and beauty, but I do think there may be something to that thought! Isn’t peace and humility beautiful?
Meekness is also respectable as an ornament. Have you ever had jewelry appraised? I used to work for an insurance agency, and whenever anyone wanted to increase their insurance to include precious gems, they had to first get it appraised for its value. God says that meekness is, in His sight, “of great price.”
Ornaments go by estimation; now we may be sure the judgment of God is right and unerring. That is an ornament indeed which He calls and counts so. It is an ornament of God’s own making and of His own accepting. He will “beautify the meek with salvation” (Psalm 149:4), and if the garments of salvation will not beautify, what will?
Have you beautified yourself with meekness? What is it? 1 Peter 5:5 explains what meekness is. “Yea, all of you, be subject one to another.” It is the mutual yielding which we owe to one another for edification. So how do we do it? The verse follows, “Be clothed with humility.”
Meekness is also respectable because it takes true courage. Some people despise those who “can’t stand up for themselves!” They might see meekness as cowardly, evidence of a small person. But this is because we misunderstand courage. Norris Miscell says what courage is:
“It is a resolution never to decline any evil of pain, when the choosing of it, and the exposing of ourselves to it, is the only remedy against a greater evil.”
Therefore he that accepts a challenge and so runs himself upon the evil of sin, which is the greater evil, only for fear of shame and reproach, which is the less evil, he is the coward; while he that refuses the challenge and so exposes himself to reproach for fear of sin, he is the valiant man.
Finally, meekness is respectable because it follows the best examples. This brings us back to my question from last week: Who do you respect most? Probably you respect someone who is an example of meekness. Follow his example, and you may find someone following your own before long. Those who humble themselves shall be exalted.
This is my attempt to rephrase Matthew Henry’s book The Quest for Meekness and Quietness of Spirit.
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