I have a dilemma.
How do we remain meek without allowing others to use us as doormats?
I ask because we sometimes find ourselves in positions where we are being treated unfairly simply because people expect us to be meek, i.e. take whatever is thrown at us without putting up a resistance.
So let’s explore this.
One of the definitions of meek is “easily imposed upon”.
I have an issue with that.
But should I?
When in doubt, we should look at Jesus’s example.
Other definitions of meek include being gentle. Was Jesus gentle? Yes. He never treated anyone who approached Him for assistance harshly. Shouldn’t we do the same?
Now to the one trait I have the problem with, which you may too; Was Jesus “easily imposed upon”?
We have so many examples which tell us yes.
Whether Jesus was hungry or tired, He still catered to people’s needs. He never, like the disciples wanted to at times, turned them away.
And what about today? How patient (yet another definition) is He with us?
He puts up with our wishy-washy natures and never complains. He just keeps encouraging us and lifting us when we fall.
Finally, can we say that Jesus ever allowed Himself to be used as a doormat?
I am struggling to recall such an incident.
Even when He was taken by the soldiers that fateful night or when He was crucified on that cross, make no mistake – that was a CHOICE He made for you and for me.
He didn’t have to do that, but He meekly went along with His Father’s plan to redeem mankind.
Jesus was no doormat.
He stood for what was right, even when it was unpopular. Remember Him removing the traders from the temple?
He did not give in to Satan’s temptations. He made it through 40 days without giving in to the temptation to use His divinity as the easy way out.
He had no problem pointing out the hypocrisy of the Jewish elders. They rigidly kept laws but had no heart for their fellow men.
He rebuked His disciples when it was warranted. Remember His words to Peter chastising him for His lack of faith?
Doesn’t sound like a doormat to me!
My conclusion to the dilemma we face as Christians is to use Jesus as our ultimate example and to ask God for discernment so that we can respond to situations in a manner that would reflect whose we are. The choice is ours.
Sometimes we need to allow ourselves to be imposed upon (yes, I just said that) so that through our choice, others can see Jesus in us.
Other times, we need to be assertive and stand for what is just.
Only God can guide us in making those decisions.
Psalm 139:14 reminds us that we are, “…fearfully and wonderfully made” and no one can take that away from us regardless of how hard they try.
Let us not worry so much about how others view us, but let us ensure that we, “proclaim the wonderful acts of God who has called you out of darkness into his own marvellous light.” 2 Peter 2:9 (GNT)