Meekness

The second characteristic of AGAPE love involves “Meekness.” The word “Meek” is a difficult one for us. We don’t admire the meek, we feel sorry for them. But “meekness”—properly understood—is an essential Christian virtue and an important component of AGAPE love.

Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. (Mt 5:5)

Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness and patience. (Col 3:12)

The word “meek” is commonly translated “gentle” or “humble.” It’s the attitude Paul was describing when he warned, “Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment” (Ro 12:3). It is a willingness to put others first. It teaches us to defer and submit. It allows us to turn the other cheek and go the extra mile.

Before we can develop AGAPE love, we must deal with our own pride and selfishness. There can be no AGAPE love so long as we have “selfish ambition and vain conceit” (Php 2:3). Realizing how broken, how prone to sin, how needy of God’s grace we are—in other words, being honest about ourselves—is foundational for developing healthy and Christ-like relationships. Meekness lies at the very heart of the Christian walk: living for others, laying down our own lives in service of others, dying to selfishness and desires so as to live for the good of others. Jesus demonstrated this attitude most powerfully in his Cross. It is an example he urges us to study and imitate: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me” (Lk 9:23).

AGAPE relationships are humble relationships. A proper understanding of yourself and your place in the world, a determined commitment to selflessness, setting aside an attitude of “deserving” and developing (instead) a grateful heart is a key component of Christ-like relationships.

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© 2012 by Tim Woodroof. Reproduction of this material requires permission from the author.