It’s the quiet ones you’ve got to watch out for

I get tired of taking things sitting down, you know? There are some days when I want to stand up and fight. I want to argue. I want to lash out at all these people who have taken the important things in life and dragged them through the mud. But if there’s one thing I’ve noticed it’s that people don’t usually respond well to strong opinions, especially if they don’t agree with you anyway.

In any situation, a loud answer rarely satisfies the question and usually only draws more loud opinions. And it just gets worse and worse until someone backs down.

Don’t misunderstand. There are some things definitely worth fighting for, but how are we supposed to fight?

Pink roses in the Rose Garden at Glen Eyrie, Colorado Springs, CO

Pink roses in the Rose Garden at Glen Eyrie, Colorado Springs, CO

Today’s verse is Matthew 5:5.

God blesses those who are humble,
    for they will inherit the whole earth.

So what does humility have to do with fighting, you may ask? Well for that answer, we need to check the Amplified Version. It will clear this up a bit:

Blessed (happy, blithesome, joyous, spiritually prosperous—with life-joy and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of their outward conditions) are the meek (the mild, patient, long-suffering), for they shall inherit the earth!

In the Amplified Version, the word is actually meek rather than humble. And while humility and fighting are somewhat related, meekness and fighting go hand in hand–or at least they should for a Christ-follower.

Meekness is another form humility can take. Meekness has best been described as quiet strength. It’s confidence and surety so certain that you don’t need to bluster or brag. Jesus was meek. He had every right to show off and demonstrate His power and knowledge, but He didn’t. In fact, the only time He even showed any form of aggression was chasing the money changers out of the temple (Matthew 21:12-17).

Some people portray meekness as weakness. We have this idea that meekness means we need to be pansies, and that’s the opposite of it. Meekness is strength used at the appropriate time. It’s speaking softly and carrying a big stick, to quote Teddy Roosevelt.

If you’re the kind of person who goes off at the drop of a hat, I’m sorry to say that’s not meekness. If you’re the kind of person who gets angry and confrontational about everything, that’s not meekness either. If you’re defensive, if you’re demanding, if you’re difficult–there’s no meekness there. And while the world may consider you a strong person who’s going somewhere, God’s opinion is the opposite.

Meekness matters to God. And according to this verse, it’s not the loud confrontational fighters who are going to be successful in the end. It’s the quiet ones in the back. It’s the soft-spoken ones.

Granted, it’s the soft-spoken people who know where they stand and never compromise. But you don’t have to be a loud-mouthed bully to communicate that. People will know who you are and what you stand for well enough by how you live, by how you treat others, by the choices you make.

Our world reveres people who say what they want to say, no matter how it affects other people. Why do you think “reality” TV is so popular? Our culture idolizes conflict. We set people who tear each other down on pedestals. And the louder you can be about your radical opinions, the more attention you’ll get.

But that’s not how we’re supposed to live. And if you talk to anyone–really talk to them–there is something deep inside them that recognizes the bravado and bluster for what it is: a show. And the moment they really need someone to depend on, they aren’t going to go for the loud-mouthed show offs. They’re going to turn to the rock-solid quiet person who has always been there for them.

Maybe you don’t think that being quiet makes a difference to people, but you’re wrong. Meekness shouts louder than shouting any day, and if you truly focus on maintaining a lifestyle of quiet strength, people will notice. It’s often the things you don’t say that make the most difference. People aren’t stupid. They pick up on more than you realize.

So what does this mean for us today? My life is so busy. And sometimes I feel like I have to shout over the noise in order to be heard. I feel like I have to step up my game and push people out of the way to accomplish the things I want. But that’s not the way I’m supposed to live.

I’m supposed to be meek–to live a life of quiet strength. I’m supposed to be patient. I’m supposed to wait and trust God and if He really has put me where He wants me, He will orchestrate events in His time.

So if you feel the urge to push people around today, even if it’s from a heart with pure intentions, don’t do it. Wait patiently and see what happens. I know it’s a scary thought because the world tells us we’ll be run over if we stand still, and maybe you will. But when has doing what the world says ever been a good idea?

Be quiet today. Not weak. But quiet. Just because you have the strength to do something doesn’t mean you’re supposed to do it.

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