Monday, March 8, 2010

The Valor of Meekness

To anyone who actually reads my blog I first wanted to apologize for not having posted in quite some time. We all must make decisions in life that reflect our current, highest priorities. That said I have had other things that have taken up a great deal of my time and have thus rendered me incapable of keeping up with blogging. Hopefully I can get back on track here and find some new regularity in blogging.

So as my first blog entry in a long time I wanted to simply post a quote from a book I am currently reading entitled The Quest for Meekness and Quietness of Spirit by Matthew Henry. In the following quote Mr. Henry discusses the courageous nature of meekness. This book has more gold in it than the Lonely Mountain in the days of Smaug the Dragon. Here is just a little nugget of that gold:

"Meekness is commonly despised and run down by the grandess of the age as a piece of cowardice and mean-spiritedness, and the evidence of a little soul, and is posted accordingly, while most furious and angry revenges are celebrated and applauded under the pompous names of valor, honor and greatness. This error arises from a mistaken notion of courage; the true nature whereof is thus stated by the ingenious pen of Norris Miscell: "That 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 greater evil." And, 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, which is the less evil, he is the valiant man.

True courage is such a presence of mind as enables a man rather to suffer than to sin, to choose affliction rather than iniquity, to pass by an affront though he lose by it and be hissed at for a fool and a sneak rather than engage in a sinful quarrel. He that can deny the brutal lust of anger and revenge, rather than violate the royal law of love and charity, however contrary the sentiments of the world may be, is truly resolute and courageous; the Lord is with thee, thou mighty man of valor...

When our Lord Jesus is described in his majesty, riding prosperously, the glory he appears in is truth, and meakness, and righteousness (Psalm 45:4). The courage of those who overcome this great dragon of wrath and revenge by meek and patient suffering and by "not loving their lives unto death" (Rev. 12:11) will turn to the best and most honorable account on the other side of the grave, and will be crowned with glory, and honor, and immortality; when those that "caused their terror in the land of the living" fall ingloriously and "bear their shame with them that go down to the pit" (Ezek. 32:24).

Most people will choose to try to "defend their honor" while at the same time losing it by responding to situations and people with sinful emotions. The one who is truly courageous is the one who chooses harm to ones own reputation (and sometimes body) by choosing to entrust their honor to God while they do the right thing. In this meekness or humility there is true valor or courage because it is the proud, not the meek, who decide to sin in order to save themselves and their reputations.

I pray God will give us all the courage to be meek instead of the pride of the weak.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. (Heb 12:1-3)