"The meek will be taking over the earth, so gently that the powerful won't notice until it's too late." (Simply Jesus, by N.T. Wright)While some translations call this fruit of the Spirit gentleness, there are other Greek words better suited to be translated as such. The word in this verse is praus, meaning "strength brought under control." The Greeks used the term to describe a wild horse brought under the control of a master by the use of a bit and bridle.
The parallels to the life of a Spirit-filled Christian are obvious, but often ignored. The meek are not easily provoked, not easily panicked, and not easily distracted.
One reason why we so often fail at the gentle art of meekness is that we fail to keep our focus on the true mission.
If I've allowed the world's thought machine to convince me that the most important purpose I could possibly pursue in 2016 is keeping illegal aliens from taking our jobs, corrupting our country or importing terrorism, then the part of meekness that always takes its directions from the master has already been set aside. The same is true if I've concluded the most important goal for the few days remaining before November 8th is to convince as many Facebook friends as possible that Donald Trump is a danger to the country and to our women. Or that Hillary Clinton should be in jail. Or that President Obama is a Muslim. Or that George Bush and the CIA engineered the 9/11 attacks so they could hand over to the NSA the keys to American's privacy.
If you've become convinced that any of those goals, or any other political agenda, should be the driving motivator of your behavior, you've slipped the reins and broken out of the stall.
There is no cause that might capture the imagination and energies of a Christian that is more important than the cause of representing the kingdom of God by being salt and light in the world. Not conservatism nor liberalism. Not libertarianism nor nationalism. No candidate or principle is more important than the gospel.
Also, there is no amount of "rightness" of a cause that allows a representative of Christ Jesus to set aside the righteous character the Lord wants to work out in our lives.
Meekness requires that even if I find myself emboldened by an adrenaline rush when I hear or read some comment by a politician or one of his or her followers, I'll still allow my reaction or response to be under the control of the master. I'm no longer a maverick, running wild on the political range, picking fights with rivals. I'm an energetic and powerful steed for the Holy Spirit to ride in pursuit of God's mission, regardless of the direction or manner in which I'd like to take off at a gallop.
What does it profit a Christian if he gains the White House and ensures the right Supreme Court Justices are named or the wrong person's finger is not on the nuclear panic button, but, in the process of pushing for that political goal, loses his soul and the souls of his non-believing friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers?
God's mission does not require spinning the truth, passing along political gossip, or sharing rude Facebook memes.
When God wants to change the world, he doesn't send in the tanks. He sends in the meek, the mourners, those who are hungry and thirsty for God's justice, the peacemakers, and so on. Just as God's whole style, his chosen way of operating, reflects his generous love, sharing his rule with human creatures, so the way in which those humans then have to behave if they are to be agents of Jesus' lordship reflects in turn the same sense of vulnerable, gentle, but powerful self-giving love. (Simply Jesus, by N.T. Wright)