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of RED RIVER VALLEY
|July 2006 Character Quality -- Meekness
|The following editorial article was written by Gloria Cooper for publication in The Paris News --
In our culture today, people tend to think of “meekness” as weakness, timidity, or lack of
confidence. Nothing could be further from the truth. Meekness is strength that is controlled and
useful. Breaking in a horse is an excellent illustration of this definition. A wild horse is useless
to man. Yet, when its powerful strength is brought under control, the horse now becomes an
ideal service to man.
Meekness is yielding our personal rights and expectations with the knowledge that it is the only
way to true success. Yielding rights is never easy to do. It requires denial of self, letting others
have the final word, or even completely abandoning an idea. A major symptom of one who does
not yield his rights is anger. Anger is like a volcano. When it erupts, it does not devastate the
distant towns with its fury, but the towns closest to it. When we “erupt,” we inevitably hurt the
people closest to us.
Gold needs refining, diamonds need pressure, and we need tests to bring out our true
character. Viewing unpleasant situations as tests of character will help us respond to them in a
meek manner. Here are five keys to building meekness in everyday life: Identify the feelings of
those involved in the situation. Define the problem, because most of them are a result of lack of
communication. Identify the truth in others’ accusations and fix the issues they point out. Yield
personal rights to “your way or no way.” Control your responses by using discernment in the
situation. All of these points require dedication to good character.
Meekness has many great benefits. A meek and quiet spirit will strengthen relationships
between family members, classmates, co-workers, and any other acquaintances by overlooking
petty offenses and differences. By doing so, this will stem the flow of regrettable words and
actions. Understanding will flourish between relations because each person will have
considered the other first.
Some say it takes a big man to pull a trigger. In reality, it takes a bigger man not to. On one
hand, it would appear that one man “takes care of his problem” quicker. Nevertheless,
meekness works through problems. It rarely is the easiest way, but in the end, the man who
took care of his problem by working through it will reap the most rewards. William Booth
summed it up with this: “The greatness of a man’s power is the measure of his surrender.” We
all want power, so let us remember that it takes surrender to gain and use it.
Portions of this article have been adapted from Character First! materials. For more information about the Character First!
program and resources contact: Character Training Institute, 520 W. Main Street, Oklahoma City, OK 73102, (405) 815-0001.
Visit the Character Council of Red River Valley at www.character-paris.org.