by Thomas Watson
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”
“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”
“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.”
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”
“Blessed are those who are persecuted, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven
Christian Meekness (Continued)
Remembering the overall theme is meek people are blessed people.
Meekness towards MAN; Continued:
3. The third branch of meekness is in RECOMPENSING GOOD FOR EVIL. This is a higher degree than the other. ‘Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, pray for those who despitefully use you’ (Matthew 5:44). ‘If your enemy is hungry, feed him’ (Romans 12:20). ‘Not paying back evil for evil or insult for insult but, on the contrary, giving a blessing’ (1 Peter 3:9). This threefold cord of Scripture should not easily be broken. To render evil for evil is brutish; to render evil for good is devilish; to render good for evil is Christian. The heathen thought it lawful to wrong none unless first provoked with an injury—but the sunlight of Scripture shines brighter than the lamp of reason. ‘Love your enemies.’ When grace comes into the heart, it works a strange alteration. When a scion is engrafted into the stock, it partakes of the nature and sap of the tree and brings forth the same fruit. He who was once of a sour disposition, given to revenge, when he once partakes of the sap of the heavenly grace, he bears holy fruits. He is full of love to his enemies. Grace allays the passion—and melts the heart into compassion. As the sun draws up many thick noxious vapors from the earth and sea, and returns them in sweet showers, so a gracious heart returns all the unkindness and discourtesies of his enemies with the sweet influences and distillations of love. Thus David, ‘They repay me with evil for the good I do. Yet when they were ill, I grieved for them. I even fasted and prayed for them.’ (Psalm 35:12, 13). Some would have rejoiced;
David wept. Some would have put on scarlet; David put on sackcloth. This is the rarity or rather miracle of meekness. It repays good for evil. Thus we have seen the nature of meekness.
Meekness shows us the badge of a true saint. He is of a forbearing, meek spirit. ‘He is not easily provoked’. He takes everything in the best sense and conquers malice with mildness. I would to God all who profess themselves saints were bespangled with this grace. We are known to belong to Christ when we wear his livery. He is a saint whose spirit is made so meek that he can smother injuries, and bury unkindnesses. A flow of tears better befits a Christian, than a passion of anger. Every saint is Christ’s spouse (Canticles 4:8). It befits Christ’s spouse to be meek. If any injury is offered to the spouse, she leaves it to her husband to revenge. It is unseemly for Christ’s spouse to fight.
Let me beseech all Christians to labor to be eminent in this superlative grace of meekness. ‘Seek meekness’ (Zephaniah 2:3). Seeking implies we have lost it. Therefore, we must seek and cry after it to find it. ‘Put on therefore as the elect of God, meekness’ (Colossians 3:12). Put it on as a garment, never to be left off. Meekness is a necessary ingredient in everything. It is necessary in instruction: ‘In meekness instructing . . .’ (2 Timothy 2:25). Meekness conquers the opposers of truth. Meekness melts the heart. ‘Soft words’ are softening. Meekness is necessary in hearing or reading the Word. ‘Receive with meekness the engrafted Word’ (James 1:21). He who come to the Word in anger or malice, gets no good—but hurt. He turns wine into poison, and stabs himself with the sword of the Spirit! Meekness is needful in reproof. ‘If a man is overtaken with a fault, restore such a one with the spirit of meekness’ (Galatians 6:1). The Greek word is ‘put him in joint again’. If a bone is out of joint, the surgeon must not use a rough hand that may chance break another bone. But he must come gently to work, and afterwards bind it up softly. So if a brother is overtaken with a fault, we must not come to him in a fury of passion—but with a spirit of meekness labor to restore him.