"Being meek does not mean being a doormat." - Why my Sunday School was wrong

"Meekness is not weakness.  Being meek does not mean being a doormat.  Look at Jesus at the temple.  He could be a pretty aggressive guy."

I think my Sunday School was wrong.

Up through high school, every time I've heard a message on meekness, I've heard the phrase "meekness is not weakness."  I'm not sure if it was something they decided on at a pastor's convention because it rhymed, if one guy said it and everyone followed suit, or if everyone came up with it on their own.  It was probably a mix of the latter two, but I'm personally cheering for #1.  Along with alliterating, all Christians love a good rhyme.

"But Jo," you might argue, "meekness isn'tweakness.  Are you going to go around calling Jesus weak, now?"  OK I agree.  I admit to saying my Sunday school was wrong just to be a bit ornery, but I still think their slant was wrong.

When I see Jesus, yeah, He could be an aggressive guy.  Exhibit A: moneychanger tables.  However, when I see Him on the cross (Exhibit B), from the appearances of things, yeah, He looks pretty weak.  The God of the Universe through which all things were made was beaten, tormented, hung on a cross, and willingly bore our sins.  I guess I take issue with the whole meekness isn't a doormat thing.

Jesus became our doormat.

 We wipe our dirty sinful feet on top of him and transfer our punishment onto Him...except that still doesn't paint the whole story.  Jesus orchestrates it.  He does the wiping.  It's not that He is weak, but He chooses "weakness."  He chooses to be that doormat.  He has strength that He doesn't use.  I think that's what it means to be meek.  Choosing to be a servant instead of asserting oneself.

"Everything is permissible, but not everything is beneficial."
Sometimes it's not a bad thing to assert oneself.  Sometimes it's necessary.  But it's also not always beneficial. Sometimes we want to stand up for ourselves.  We have our rights.  Sure, maybe we do have those rights.  But we don't always have to use them.  I think that's what it means when the Bible tells us to consider others better than ourselves.  To serve one another.  To imitate Christ's humility.  Here in America, we're all about our rights, but when I look at Christ, I see a man (God-man, really) who is all about what brings glory to God.  And a lot of time what brings glory to God is when we don't hold onto our "rights."

It took me a really long time to write this post, not because I don't believe in what I said, but because I'm not sure how to apply it.  Sometimes, things are clear.  Oftentimes, things are far from it.  I'm not good at picking my battles.  I'm bad at knowing when to be meek.  I'm even worse at actually being meek when the situation calls for it.  But I guess in this and all things, Christ is our example and our power.  We look to the cross for the right attitude - "Your attitude should be that of Christ Jesus, who in the very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped" - and for the power to execute it - "Who shall save me from this body of sin and death?  Praise to Jesus Christ who gives us the victory."