Dr. Henry Waiters: Meekness and humility
Webster says that one who is “mild of temper; not easily provoked or irritated, forbearing; submissive, and humble” is meek.
Jesus made a promise to the meek: “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth,” Matt 5:5
Jesus also described His own character: “Take my yoke upon you and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly of heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls,” Matt 11:29.
The character of Moses is described: “Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth” Num. 12:3
God has promised to guide in judgment: “The meek will he guide in judgment, and the meek will he teach his way, “ Ps 25:9
Meekness id called a fruit; “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance; against such there is no law,” Gal. 5:22-23
Christ says of those who exalt themselves: “For whosoever exalted himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted,” Luke 14:11
The spirit of self-exaltation is of Satan: “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning.… For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will set also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High,” Isa. 14:12-14.
Christ humbled Himself, made Himself of no reputation, and became obedient even to death on the cross. Phil 2:5-8.
Jesus used a little child to illustrate true humility: “And Jesus called a little child unto Him, and set him in the midst of them, and said, whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” Matt. 18: 2-4.
Humility is freedom from pride and arrogance; lowliness of mind; a modest estimate of one’s own unworthiness. It consists in rating our claims low, in being willing to waive our rights, and to take a lower place than might be our due. It does not mean that we underrate ourselves or our life’s work. The humility of Christ was perfect, yet He had a true sense of the importance of His life and mission.
Bishop Taylor say: “Humility is like a tree, whose root, when it sets deepest in the earth, rises higher, and spreads fairer, and stands surer, and lasts longer, and every step of its descent is like a rib of iron.”
Humility will lead us to esteem others: “Let nothing be done or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves,” Phil. 2:3.
If asked a reason for our hope, how we should answer? “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear,” 1 Pet. 3:15.
We should labor for one who makes a mistake: “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted,” Gal. 6:1.
Christian women are told how to adorn themselves: “Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing the gold, or of putting on of apparel; but let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God a great price, ” 1 Pet. 3:3,4.
These instructions here, in principle, apply with equal force to men’s godliness. It is the needless display of apparel and outward adornment that is condemned. God desires the ornaments within, displayed in the heart and life, rather than those without, simply to be seen of men. Needless outward adornment, therefore, may generally be taken as an indication that the inward adornment, so precious in the sight of God, is lacking. Neatness in dress is not here discouraged… (from B.R. for the H.)
We are exhorted to humble ourselves: “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time,” 1 Pet. 5:6.
Charles Spurgeon says: “The higher a man is in grace, the lower he will be in his own esteem.”
The Lord has promised to beautify the meek: “For the Lord taketh pleasure in His people: He will beautify the meek with salvation” (Psa. 149:4)
The meek are exhorted to seek the Lord: “See ye the Lord, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought His judgment: seek His righteousness, seek meekness: it maybe ye shall be hid in the day of the Lord’s anger,” Zeph. 2:3.
The fact that the meek are exhorted to seek meekness, is evidence that the meek themselves should cherish and cultivate meekness, and that sanctification, or the development of a perfect character, is a progressive work.
A promised inheritance: “For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be. But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace” (Psa. 37:10,11).
Dr. Waiters can be reached at 704-636-3369.