27 Wherefore, men are afree according to the bflesh; and call things are dgiven them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to echoose fliberty and eternal glife, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be hmiserable like unto himself. (2 Nephi 2:27)
I’m reading a talk tonight called “Meekness – A Dimension of True Discipleship” by Elder Neal A. Maxwell. I feel like meekness, humility and “submitting” go hand in hand.
Since God desired to have us become like Himself, He first had to make us free to learn and to experience; hence, our humility and teachability are premiere determinants of our progress and our happiness. Agency is essential to perfectibility, and meekness is essential to the wise use of agency—and to our recovery when we have misused our agency.
Meekness… “is the presentation of self in a posture of kindness and gentleness, reflecting certitude, strength, serenity, and a healthy self-esteem and self-control.”
What is meekness then and how do I show meekness?
Elder Maxwell sums it up in a variety of ways:
- The Savior said we are to “take up [the] cross daily”—not just once or occasionally. (Luke 9:23.)
- Because they make fewer demands of life, the meek are less easily disappointed. They are less concerned with their entitlements than with their assignments.
- When we are truly meek, we do not engage in shoulder-shrugging acceptance but in shoulder-squaring, in order that we might better bear the burdens of life and of our fellow beings.
- Meekness can also help us in coping with the injustices of life—of which there are quite a few. By the way, will not these experiences with mortal injustices generate within us even more adoration of the perfect justice of God—another of His attributes?
- Silence can be an expression of strength. Holding back can be the sign of great personal discipline, especially when everyone else is letting go.
- Furthermore, not only are the meek less easily offended, but they are less likely to give offense to others. In contrast, there are some in life who seem, perpetually, to be waiting to be offended. Their pride covers them like boils which will inevitably be bumped.
- You and I sing that Church hymn with the words “More used would I be.” One condition which keeps us from being “more used” is our lack of meekness. Sometimes, too, brothers and sisters, in our prayers we ask for the Lord to take the lead of our minds and hearts, but, as soon as we say “amen,” we go unmeekly in our predetermined directions.
- Meekness does not mean tentativeness. But thoughtfulness. Meekness makes room for others: “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.” (Philip. 2:3.)
- True meekness is never proud of itself, never conscious of itself.
- Among the meek there is usually more listening and less talking.
- The meek are thus able to avoid the abuse of authority and power—a tendency to which, the Lord declared, “almost all” succumb. Except the meek.
- Meekness rests on trust and courage.
- Meekness permits us to be prompted as to whether to speak out or, as Jesus once did, be silent. But even when the meek speak up, they do so without speaking down.
- Better to save one’s soul than to save one’s face.
WOW! As I read through all these characteristics of meekness it reminded so much of my attitude, or lack thereof, at work.
The “Serenity Prayer” comes to mind too:
“God, grand me serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.”
If I’m am seeking to truly be meek, I will not let my ego override the “wisdom to know the difference” between what I can and can’t change.
I will think things through and even be silent instead of voicing my frustrations in a less than meek way.
Today was a pretty good day. I did feel the direct effect of not studying in the morning, as the lustful temptations were brought to my attention as I “browsed around” for a bit on Facebook. It is all about the “armor of God” – when I gird up my loins and put on the full armor of God, Satan cannot and will not prevail against me. Putting on that armor is “submitting” my will to God and showing Him that I know I can’t fight the battles of day to day life alone.
I’m grateful to be able to talk with Becky about these things too. She’s has her own battles she’s fighting and it feels good to be on the same page.