There are properties of love which serve to filter our expressions. Two of the main filters at work to make sure our expressions are in compliance with love are humility and meekness. Let us take a closer look at these two properties of love by their definitions.
Humility– In ethics, freedom from pride and arrogance; humbleness of mind.
Meekness– Appropriately, humble, in an evangelical sense; submissive to the divine will; not proud, self-sufficient.
Humility gives us the humbleness of mind to acknowledge our dependency on the spirit of GOD to love. Meekness takes the stiffness out of our posture and allows us to bow in surrender to GOD’s divine will. These two virtues in operation are what helps us to be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to wrath. Here are a few proverbs which further explain the dynamics I am writing about.
Proverbs 14:16-17 (NKJV)
16 A wise man fears and departs from evil,
But a fool rages and is self-confident.
17 A quick-tempered man acts foolishly,
And a man of wicked intentions is hated.
In this first proverb, we see verse 16 starting by saying, “A wise man fears.” This is a reference to fearing the judgment of GOD or being submissive to divine will, a character of meekness. In this same verse of scripture, we see a raging fool being attributed with self-confidence which is the opposite of humility and meekness. In verse 17, we see a fool being identified as someone who is quick-tempered. As I indicated earlier, humility and meekness allow us to be slow to wrath. I borrowed this from a letter written by the Apostle James. Here is what he wrote:
19 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: 20 For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God. 21 Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. (James 1:19-21 KJV)
Here James is testifying to the virtues of meekness. I love the way he puts it as he says, “receive the engrafted word of GOD with meekness.” This is consistent with the very definition of meekness as cited earlier, submissive to divine will. Another proverb worth looking at is Proverbs 18:23.
“The poor useth entreaties; but the rich answereth roughly.”
This one may not be as obvious since many people don’t readily identify with being poor, however when we consider that GOD owns all things and we are as children living in our parent’s home, we realize in and of ourselves we are poor. This is the same mind set we should take to our ability to love, or to be righteous, or really to do anything good. Proverbs 18:23 says the poor uses entreaties, which are petitions made from a place of lowliness, in contrast to the rich operating from perceived self-sufficiency thereby answering roughly out of pride.
We should allow love to filter the water we serve. This world has a parching affect on us due to all of the strife, hate, and bitterness circulated among the many brokenhearted who populate this earth. Christ promised us living waters that would spring up from within us and He has made good on the promise. This promise was fulfilled on the day of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit came down from heaven to fill the hearts of man. The Holy Spirit is the wellspring of love from within which makes our cups to run over. As we share GOD’s divine love with others, we need to be mindful that our vessels are made of earth, so we need to filter out impurities.
Let us heed the wisdom of GOD coming to us from the book of Proverbs and the book of James and make sure our love is expressed through the filters of humility and meekness. Somewhere along the course of my life I came across this saying which has stuck with me, “You may have a heart of gold but so does a hard-boiled egg.” We must own our actions and do the work as best we can of making sure what we express is as close as possible to our true intentions. If we get it wrong, then we should be ready to humbly repent. This is our part in changing the world we live in. This is an essential task in the joyful labor of love.