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How can someone be meek?



      

James 3:13

ESV - 13 Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom.

Clarify Share Report Asked November 27 2017 Mini Anonymous

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Mini Tim Maas Retired Quality Assurance Specialist with the U.S. Army
To me, the quality of meekness that James is speaking of is the same as humility, which (in Christian terms) is the opposite of pride.

Meekness or humility does not consist of acting in a visibly self-effacing or self-deprecating manner, or constantly emphasizing one's own unimportance. (I always think of the character Uriah Heep in Charles Dickens' book David Copperfield in this connection.)

On the other hand, a truly meek person would also not feel a need to proclaim his positive attributes, regardless of how great his goodness, intelligence, or wisdom might be. 

Meekness (to me) implies having a proper understanding of one's relationship to God and to other people. I have always found the words of C. S. Lewis in his book Mere Christianity to be instructive in that regard. He said:

"We must not think of Pride as something that God forbids because He is offended at it, or that Humility is something He demands as due to His own dignity -- as if God Himself was proud. He is not in the least worried about His dignity.

"The point is, He wants you to know Him: wants to give you Himself. And He and you are two things of such a kind that if you really get into any kind of touch with Him you will, in fact, be humble -- delightfully humble, feeling the infinite relief of having for once got rid of all the silly nonsense about your own dignity which has made you restless and unhappy all your life.

"He is trying to make you humble in order to make this moment possible: trying to take off a lot of silly, ugly, fancy-dress in which we have all got ourselves up and are strutting about like the little idiots we are....[T]he relief, the comfort of taking the fancy-dress off -- getting rid of the false self, with all its 'Look at me' and 'Aren't I a good boy?' and all its posing and posturing --...is like a drink of cold water to a man in a desert.

"Do not imagine that if you meet a really humble man he will be what most people call 'humble' nowadays: he will not be a sort of greasy, smarmy person, who is always telling you that, of course, he is nobody. Probably all you will think about him is that he seemed a cheerful, intelligent chap who took a real interest in what YOU said to HIM. If you do dislike him it will be because you feel a little envious of anyone who seems to enjoy life so easily. He will not be thinking about humility: he will not be thinking about himself at all."

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