Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.
They called him the gentle giant, a trite but fitting nickname. Initially, no one messed with him because of his size for fear that he would drop the hammer. It did not take long, however, for the other students to notice that this seemingly scary guy was anything but a threat. A brazen and mouthy, albeit much smaller, classmate of his decided to test his courage by picking a fight with him. Everyone expected the giant to give this little guy quite the thrashing, but he instead walked away quietly. Many of the students interpreted this as weakness, fear, or insecurity, but their interpretations were wrong. That which they thought was weakness was actually meekness, the ability to control one’s power and brush off offense.
We have a thousand reasons to be offended by this world and the enemy every day. By the standards of that very world, we then have a thousand reasons to take vengeance and lash out in defense of ourselves. By God’s standards, however, that is no right or privilege of ours. Our offenses will come even from within the Church, but He wants us to take self-control and wisdom and mix them with humility so that we can walk as the meek children He desires. This means that we take a deliberate look at those things which are meant to offend us and consider them thoughtfully before properly responding. When someone pushes our buttons, we have the option to push theirs in return. We also have the option not to let the button-pushing affect us. Exacting vengeance on those who hurt us is simply not worth working against a critical purpose of the kingdom, which is to make us little examples of our perfectly meek Savior.
No one wants to be a doormat, and that is not the kind of life to which God has called us. What He desires is that we be long-suffering because this world and the enemy will not relent in their offenses against the children of God. If we were to exercise the right of vengeance the world says we have, then we would spend our days doing practically only that. This is a distraction from the good work that God has for us to do and the good example that He wants us to set. Paul counted it a joy to suffer for the cause of Christ, and we should count it a joy that we can take the offenses for his sake. They are blessings by training us to be gentle, meek, and long-suffering. Father, we ask that You increase in us the meek spirit of your Son, that we would brush off life’s offenses without a second thought and press forward in doing your work.