Jeff Foxworthy has made a good living offering definite descriptions of what it means to be a “Redneck”. I recently found one of his lists with over 300 “you may be a redneck ifs……”
In the Beatitudes Jesus is saying, “You may be a Christian if you are meek and you may be meek if…..”
1. You Are Teachable NOT UNREACHABLE.
Meekness is about having a teachable spirit. Look at what Jesus said in Matthew 11:29 – “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
Every day we need to search our hearts to see if we have a teachable spirit. Why? So that we can become like Jesus and teach others what we have learned. Look at what it says in Luke 6:40 – “A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is perfectly trained will be like his teacher.”
Are you teachable?
2. You Are Gentle NOT JUDGEMENTAL.
How do you react when someone you know messes up their life? Do you say, “I told you so? I could see that coming. You blew it. How could you be so dumb? How could you be so stupid?” Folks this is not a sign of meekness.
Meekness is treating people gentle not judgmental – “Welcome with open arms fellow believers who don’t see things the way you do. And don’t jump all over them every time they do or say something you don’t agree with—even when it seems that they are strong on opinions but weak in the faith department. Remember, they have their own history to deal with. Treat them gently.” Romans 14:1
Galatians 6:1-3 put it this way, “Live creatively, friends. If someone falls into sin, forgivingly restore him, saving your critical comments for yourself. You might be needing forgiveness before the day’s out. Stoop down and reach out to those who are oppressed. Share their burdens, and so complete Christ’s law. If you think you are too good for that, you are badly deceived.”
Are you gentle or judgmental?
3. You Are An Actor NOT A REACTOR.
What is your normal reaction when people hurt you? Retaliate? Get even? Stab them in the back? Or do you love the person? Forgive them? Treat them with kindness? Meekness is a matter of choice. Do you remember how we defined meekness earlier in the sermon? Let me remind you: “Power under control”
“Our Scriptures tell us that if you see your enemy hungry, go buy that person lunch, or if he’s thirsty, get him a drink. Your generosity will surprise him with goodness. Don’t let evil get the best of you; get the best of evil by doing good.” Romans 12:20-21
“If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love. Love never gives up. Love cares more for others than for self. Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have. Love doesn’t strut, Doesn’t have a swelled head, Doesn’t force itself on others, Isn’t always “me first,” Doesn’t fly off the handle, Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others, Doesn’t revel when others grovel, Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, Puts up with anything, Trusts God always, Always looks for the best, Never looks back, But keeps going to the end.” I Corinthians 13:3-7
You can either react to people - or we can take control of our emotions and act in love toward people. The choice is yours.
4. You Are Understanding NOT DEMANDING.
Look at what the Message Bible says about this: “If you’ve gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care— then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand. Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself. He had equal status with God but didn’t think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn’t claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death—and the worst kind of death at that—a crucifixion. Because of that obedience, God lifted him high and honored him far beyond anyone or anything, ever, so that all created beings in heaven and on earth—even those long ago dead and buried—will bow in worship before this Jesus Christ, and call out in praise that he is the Master of all, to the glorious honor of God the Father.” Philippians 2:1-11
Do you know what the major lesson is that I get from passage of scripture? I have a choice. I can choose to be rude and crude – or I can choose to be patience. I can choose to be helpful or hurtful. I can choose to be a blessing – or I can choose to be a pain in the neck. I can choose to be self-centered – or I can choose to look out for others. I can choose to be understanding – or I can choose to be demanding. The choice is mine – the choice is yours.
5. You Are Tender WITHOUT SURRENDER.
Pick your battles. Don’t argue over something that doesn’t matter. Don’t fight over something that doesn’t make any difference. But when something does make a difference – be tender without surrender.
“A gentle response defuses anger, but a sharp tongue kindles a temper-fire.” Proverbs 15:1
Look at what Paul says about variety in the church: “God’s various gifts are handed out everywhere; but they all originate in God’s Spirit. God’s various ministries are carried out everywhere; but they all originate in God’s Spirit. God’s various expressions of power are in action everywhere; but God himself is behind it all. Each person is given something to do that shows who God is: Everyone gets in on it, everyone benefits. All kinds of things are handed out by the Spirit, and to all kinds of people! The variety is wonderful: wise counsel, clear understanding, simple trust, healing the sick, miraculous acts, proclamation, distinguishing between spirits, tongues, interpretation of tongues. All these gifts have a common origin, but are handed out one by one by the one Spirit of God. He decides who gets what, and when.” I Corinthians 12:4-7
Meekness is learning to disagree – AGREEABLY.
Are you able to do that?
Christians have the meekness of Christ.