Berean Studies / Ber02 - Humility And Meekness
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1. What importance does God attach to these graces of Christian character?
2. Although the Scriptures use the words interchangeably, yet strictly speaking, what is the distinction between humility...
and meekness? R2585 col. 2 ¶3, R2586 col. 1 ¶2; R1962 col. 1 ¶1; See Webster
R2585 c2 p3: A sharp distinction should be noted between being poor in spirit and being poor in pocket, or in intellectual gifts and attainments. We have all seen people who were poor in these earthly senses, yet proud in spirit. The point to be noticed is that whatever our financial or intellectual gifts and conditions, the thing acceptable in the divine sight is humility of spirit. Such a disposition is essential to those who would receive the wisdom which cometh from above--they must have a humble appreciation of their own deficiencies and lack of wisdom, else they cannot receive freely, heartily, the wisdom which God is pleased to grant in the present time, only to those who are in the attitude of heart to receive it. And it will be seen also that this humility of mind is essential as a basis for the spirit of a sound mind--for who is in a proper condition to think justly, reasonably, impartially, except first of all he have a humble disposition? Hence we must agree that humility is a primary element in the disposition or mind of Christ.
R2586 c1 p2: The third of these graces which the Lord declares blessed is Meekness, or, as we should say, Gentleness. Webster's Dictionary defines meekness to be, "Submission to the divine will; patience and gentleness from moral and religious motives." It will be perceived that there is quite a difference between this patient, gentle submission to the divine will, and the ordinary gentleness and patience which may frequently be exercised simply for the gratification of selfish desires. Patient submission to the divine will is impossible to those who have not the first grace in the list, a humble mind: the proud and self-willed find it impossible to be submissive to divine conditions; self rises up, perverts their judgments, and misleads their consciences to such an extent that they cannot have full confidence in divine providence, but feel that they must put forth their hand and steady the ark.
R1962 c1 p1 The Lord gives the key to this rest in the words-- "and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly of heart." Truly, in a meek and quiet spirit is the secret of rest. To be meek is to cultivate the graces of patience; of loving submission to the will of God; of abiding confidence in his love and care and in the wisdom of his guiding counsel and overruling providences; and to perseveringly pursue this course through evil and through good report, or through favorable or unfavorable circumstances.
Let the beloved children of God seek more and more to copy Christ's meek and quiet spirit, accepting the providences of God and obeying his precepts and leading as he did, armed with the strength which he alone can supply, and will, to all those who take his yoke upon them, and learn of him.
Webster’s: Meek MEEK, a. [L. mucus; Eng. mucilage; Heb. to melt.]
1. Mild of temper; soft; gentle; not easily provoked or irritated; yielding; given to forbearance under injuries.
Now the man Moses was very meek, above all men. Num 12.
2. Appropriately,humble, in an evangelical sense; submissive to the divine will; not proud, self-sufficient or refractory; not peevish and apt to complain of divine dispensations. Christ says, "Learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest to your souls." Mat 11.
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Mat 5.
MEE'KNESS, n. Softness of temper; mildness; gentleness; forbearance under injuries and provocations.
1. In an evangelical sense, humility; resignation; submission to the divine will, without murmuring or peevishness; opposed to pride, arrogance and refractoriness. Gal 5.
I beseech you by the meekness of Christ. 1 Cor 10.
Meekness is a grace which Jesus alone inculcated, and which no ancient philosopher seems to have understood or recommended.
3. What is the relation between humility and knowledge?
4. How do we know that humility is the underlying principle of the divine government?
5. What does it mean to be ‘clothed with humility’?
6. Is it possible to have too great humility?
7. What elements of character are in direct opposition to humility?
1Pe 5:5; Pr 3:34; 6:16- 19; R2204 col. 1¶ 5, 6; R2060 col. 2, point (7);
R2450 col. 2 ¶3; R3114 col. 2 ¶2; R3231 col. 1 ¶1
(1Pe 5:5) Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.
(Pro 3:34) Surely he scorneth the scorners: but he giveth grace unto the lowly.
(Pro 6:16) These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:
(Pro 6:17) A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,
(Pro 6:18) A heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,
(Pro 6:19) A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.
R2204 c1 p5,6 Perfect Love is humble--"vaunteth not itself." It does not sound a trumpet before it. Its good deeds are not done to be seen of men, but would be done just the same if no one saw or knew but God only. It is neither boastful of its knowledge, nor of its graces, but in humility acknowledges that every good and perfect gift cometh from the Father; and it makes return for every mercy to him. Some one has truly said that-- "Love saves a man from making a fool of himself by consequential conduct, and by thrusting himself into positions which betray his incompetence."
Perfect Love is courteous--"doth not behave itself unseemly." Pride is the root out of which grows most of the unseemly conduct and boorishness so common to those who think themselves somebody, either intellectually or financially. Perfect Love on the contrary develops courteousness along with humility. A thoughtful man has said,--"Politeness has been defined as love in trifles. Courtesy is said to be love in little things. The one secret of politeness is to love. A gentleman is one who does things gently, with love."
R2060 c2 point (7) Nothing is more dangerous to the child of God than self-conceit: it blocks the way to true progress and reformation of heart, and hinders true usefulness to others, and especially usefulness in God's service; for his Word declares, "God resisteth the proud, but showeth his favor unto the humble."
R2450 c2 p3 Feelings of emulation, strife and vain-glory seem to specially beset any of the Lord's people who are possessed of any degree of talent or ability or honorable situation in life, and especially those who are in influential places in the Church; and while these, therefore, need to be specially on guard against this besetment of the flesh, it should not be forgotten that, as some one has said, "There is a pride that looks up with envy, as well as a pride that looks down with scorn." The Lord's followers are to remember that pride in any person, in any station, respecting any matter, is highly reprehensible in God's sight and displeasing to him. "The Lord resisteth the proud, but showeth his favor to the humble." Hence, all who would abide in the Lord's love have need to be very careful along this line--to keep very humble, very lowly in conduct, and particularly in mind.--`Jas. 4:6`; `1 Pet. 5:5`.
R3114 c2 p2 "Who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity."-- Pride is an abomination to the Lord and to all those who partake of his spirit. It is a weed which, if once permitted to take root in the heart, will soon crowd out every grace. The Psalmist says, "I hate vain thoughts"; and such should be our sentiments. The grace of humility, meekness, is one of the most beautiful that can adorn the character. It takes a sober estimate of personal qualifications, is not puffed up, does not behave unbecomingly, and seeks to exercise its talents, not for pride and vain glory, but for the joy of doing good. It is modest, candid and sincere, both in consideration of its own qualifications and those of others. What comfort and pleasure are found in the society of those possessed of such a spirit!
R3231c1p1 (2) Goliath may properly represent pride, backed by a host of worldliness. One of the severe ordeals of the New Creature is the conquering of the love of the spirit of worldliness under the leadership of pride. Worldly pride challenges faith in God and obedience to him, and only those who are of good courage and full of confidence in the Lord can overcome this giant. It is necessary, too, that the victory should be made complete --that pride should be thoroughly humiliated, killed, so that it can never rise up again to destroy us. It is an individual battle, and the only proper armament against this giant is a stone from the brook, the message of the Lord, showing us what is pleasing and acceptable in his sight, and assuring us that he that humbleth himself shall be exalted and he that exalteth himself shall be abased. As the poet has expressed it:--
"Where boasting ends, true dignity begins."
8. What lessons may we learn from Jesus’ example of humility?
9. Was humility characteristic of the apostles?
10. Why is humility a chief essential in an Elder?
11. Why should husbands cultivate and exercise humility?
12. How can wives exercise humility?
13. Why is it important that we teach our children meekness and humility?
14. What Scriptural promises are given to the meek and humble?
15. What notable illustrations and examples of meekness and humility do we find in the Bible?
16. Give suggestions as to the best methods for acquiring and cultivating these important graces.
17. What additional thoughts can be found by consulting the Topical Indexes of the ‘ New Bible ‘ and ‘ Heavenly Manna ‘?