Is Meekness a Weakness?

When I started out writing this column, I assumed the articles would generally be about living well—not particularly on weight loss. But as the readership grew, I started receiving feedback—lots of feedback—
from women who were struggling with weight. It was then that I realized that God was using me to minister to other women who, like me, struggle with food issues.

Because of this ministry, and my focus toward it, I am continually finding scripture that speaks to the struggle. I’m encouraged with the knowledge that God understands our desire to lose, and gives us the tools necessary to win.

So this week, in our home Bible study group we talked about meekness. How does that relate to appetite? It completely relates when you understand what the true meaning of the word is, and how it applies to our life.

Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
—Matthew 5:5

Let’s look closer at the word meek:

The Greek word is praeiv, translated in Strong’s Concordance (#4239) as: mildness of disposition, gentleness of spirit, meekness.

So the idea is that a meek person is someone who is gentle, tolerant, patient, and long suffering, and someone who is submissive to their Lord.

Contrary to the way the world would see it, meekness does not equate weakness—in fact it’s the exact opposite. Meekness is being strong yet controlled.

When studying the word I found that the Greeks would often equate meekness with the taming of an animal, such as a horse that was broken in as apposed to one that is wild.

This reminded me of our old Pit bull, Bailey. With her incredible jaw and body strength, she was capable of doing severe damage, and yet she was the meekest animal I have ever met. We knew she was a good pup when she first rolled over on her back to greet us—a submissive sign that we recognized.

By the time Bailey was a few years old, she was trained to respond well to her leash. She was also trained to stop at each corner, and look both ways before crossing the street. One evening while out for a walk, Bailey was harassed by a dog one-tenth her size. The little dog charged across the street with a bark far bigger than his bite. I knew that Bailey could take the little squirt out with one gulp, but instead of retaliating, she remained under control. Following the lead of her master.

I look to Jesus whose very life was a reflection of His desire to follow the Father.

He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. –Isaiah 53:7

And the same meek and gentle, Jesus Christ…

…entered the temple area and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the moneychangers and the benches of those selling doves. —Matthew 21:12, NIV

Always ready to defend His faith, yet never defending Himself. Therein lies the strength of the meek, in the ability to control ones passions and desires.

If we learn to control our passions in the small things of life, we equip ourselves to be further controlled in the larger issues. On the other hand, if we let our emotions rule us, we become a slave to them.

It is not good to eat much honey; so for men to search their own glory is not glory. He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.
—Proverbs 25:27 & 28.

Jesus equipped Himself for ministry by fasting in the wilderness for 40 days and 40 nights, bringing His body under subjection to the spirit, can you say no to an extra brownie or two? Can you say no to pop and grab water instead? Each time you let your passions rule your choice, you are letting them rule you. Isn’t that a discouraging thought?

Can you imagine how great a force we could be if we could live a life of meekness in the same manner as Him. We become a conquering force not only able to reject the next binge, but to stand up for our faith when the going gets tough.

If controlling our appetite weren’t of great importance, why would fasting be of any use? It’s a form of self-denial, and any healthy denial of self teaches our soul that our Spirit is the one in charge.

Losing weight is great, ladies, but our pant size is not what bugs us the most, is it? It’s our failure to control our appetite time and again. It’s the overwhelming feeling that we’re in bondage to food. It’s the feeling that we’re trapped in a body that has control over us. That’s why we want change. That’s why we need change!

The meek shall eat and be satisfied: they shall praise the LORD that seek him: your heart shall live for ever.
—Psalm 22:26

©2008, Darlene Schacht

*We advise that you always consult your doctor before starting any diet or exercise program.

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