Sunday, July 15, 2012


1Corinthians 4:21, "What will ye? shall I come unto you with a rod, or in love, and in the spirit of meekness?"

2Corinthians 10:1,  "Now I Paul myself beseech you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ, who in presence am base among you, but being absent am bold toward you:"

Galatians 6:1, "Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted."

2Timothy 2:25,  "In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;"

*Note: When the author renders the word 'Church' as seen, he is referring to the Main-Stream, Corporate Entity, Institutional 'Church' we are all familiar with in our modern day and age. When he renders the word in all lower case letters, (church) he is referring to Christ's Authentic, Home based church, which still exists today.

I know,.. I know,.. Those of you who have read some of my earlier posts may be saying, "Who is he to be writing an article about 'Meekness?' To tell you the truth, I may be the last person qualified to do so. But, when the Lord leads you to do something, even if you'll be criticized for it, you just give in, let Him bestow all the blessings and let the chips fall where they may. So, to that end, I'll be frank; some of my articles have come across a little harsh at times. Please understand that I have been smoothing out the rough edges one article at a time because a friend of mine made me realize that I do not have to be so trenchant all of the time. Actually, when I write, my mind is calm and serine, however, my writing style seems to come across opposite to this. Why? The only thing I can think of is, I'm not a writer at heart. I write with my emotions and what pops into my head. Is this an excuse for my former pieces? Probably not. So, for all those who I may have offended, and for what it's worth, I offer my sincerest apologies. Although my other messages will remain the same for awhile, I will gradually get around to replacing some of the more sharp words with more soothing ones. I ask for your gracious patience. Starting with this article, I will endeavor to express myself in a meeker manner than before. I thank all of you for your kind consideration.

This particular post is entitled, 'Meekness.' I understand that at times the Apostle Paul had to be stern with some of his followers, especially those churched at Corinth. He also expressed some strong language in the book of Titus as well. My point is, sometimes we can be 'Firm and Stern' when it is needed. Paul however, seemed to be able to lace almost every word he wrote with the spirit of meekness. Again, this is a short coming with me at times. I began thinking to myself, "Bobby; maybe you need to lace your writing with a lot more meekness than you have in the past." Then I began to think, "What exactly is meekness?" I'll describe Meekness using another real life experience from my past.

In the Summer of 1978 I came home for a few days to visit my Ma on the weekend during my first year in the Air Force. My permanent station was only a few hours away, so I took the time to drive down. In my home town was our only Barber. His name was Salvatore Spicanardi. Upon his insistence, everyone called him 'Spic,' (and no, I'm not making this up!). That was his true name. As a teen, me and my buddies would go over to his Barber Shop and lift weights, which he had set up for us in the back room. Spic was ex-Army and a swell guy. He was very charitable and friendly with everyone in town. He had a quick smile and a wit just as lively. He was also a 'fellow" with the local Police Department and acted as his own Police Athletic Department (PAL) by supplying the use of those weights and bench press as needed. One day that weekend I went over to Spic's to say hello. Once he saw me he started in on his rapid-fire way of talking. At times you wouldn't know when one sentence ended and another began. Anyway, he was one of the most disarming men I ever knew. One always felt safe and liked around Spic.

After a moment of sharing pleasantries, he jumped up and said, "Hey! Have you ever had a real, honest to goodness Professional Barber Shop, hot lather, straight razor shave?" I told him I never have. "Hop in the chair and let me clean you up!" he said. "I do this for all those I know who are in the service free of charge." Now for those of you who have never experienced a hot lather, straight razor shave from a Barber's chair, let me tell you that you don't know what you're missing. You don't have to shave for at least a week afterwards. For men, it's like an hour at the Spa. Your face feels like silky-smooth rubber, and it seems like you'll never grow another whisker again as long as you live. As I was to find out, Spic was a Master at giving a shave. The first thing he does is sit you in his chair, which is almost a kin to a leather throne with a built-in foot stool. Some of you men who are about my age are smiling right now, aren't you? You know what I'm talking about. Anyway, Spic reaches over to grab a stick, then goes over to a stainless steel box, which sat on the counter next to the chair. When he opened the little door of the steel box, hot steam spewed out. He then reached in with the stick and pulled out a steaming hot, white terrycloth towel. My eyes suddenly got big as I discerned what he was about to do with it. Now you guys are really laughing, right? Onto my face it went, and up to the ceiling I shot! Let me tell you, it was the hottest thing I ever had on my face. I would have welcomed battery acid as an after shave lotion at that particular moment in time, it felt so hot!

When thirty seconds rolls by, and after he scraped me off of the ceiling and back into the chair, the hot towel started to feel really good to me. And here is where the lesson begins. I asked him what the purpose of applying the hot towel was. He said it was to get my whiskers to stand up so that it would be easier for him to administer a really close shave. He liked calling the towel stage of the shaving Process, "A hair-raising experience." Have you ever had a 'hair-raising experience?' Let me tell you, it can come at anytime and without much warning. Some experience it on a roller-coaster, and some just before a car accident. I've experienced a few in my life time, but my first was in his barber chair with that hot towel. Now I'll begin with a little spiritual application. Sometimes when we have a hair-raising experience, a little sin comes out from within us, doesn't it? Have you ever had a curse word slip out when you hit your thumb with a hammer or stubbed your toe? Let's imagine, for illustration purposes, that the whiskers standing up after the hot towel are our sins surfacing when things go unexpectedly wrong. Okay; now hold onto that thought.

After the beard is sticking straight up, Spic doesn't just start applying the straight razor to my face. Why? Because, it still hasn't been Properly prepared. Have you ever had what is called a "Dry Shave?" Believe me, you don't want one. It hurts! Even if you used a lot of hot water, it pulls, irritates and tugs at your whiskers. Its not a very enjoyable experience. By the time you're done, your face would look like a piece of I-Round from the Butcher Shop. It would be red and raw! That razor is sharp; VERY sharp! To avoid this, Spic would take hold of what is known as a 'Razor Strap.' It was a long, thick leather strap attached to the side of the chair. He would hold onto the other end of the strap and pull it tight while he glided the metal razor back and forth, 'thwip, thwip, thwip,...' until the blade was smooth and super sharp. I'm telling you; this razor was so sharp, it could cut through skin like, well,... a razor! As a matter of fact, we can use the razor to illustrate another point in this lesson. Let us use it to illustrate our tongues. James 3:5, "Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!" Our tongues are sharp too. They can cut deep into someone's psych if we're not careful. Things we say can really hurt someone else. I'm a good example of wielding a razor sharp tongue towards someone from time to time, and I aim to be more careful about that.

If Spic were to apply that razor too harshly against my skin, especially around the neck area, he would cut my throat wide open and I'd more than likely bleed to death. Some people who've had their feelings hurt by someone like me, who applied too sharp a word, might never recover from that type of a tongue lashing. They'll refuse to have anything to do with that person again. It's a good thing indeed that Spic was so skilful at using this instrument for good that he was able to keep a steady stream of customers in his chair. However, if he were to cut enough throats, it wouldn't be the barber chair he'd be sitting in during his breaks. It'd be the Electric Chair! What we need to do as ambassadors of Christ is be skillful with the use of our tongues when dealing with others. Some are born ambassadors and some, like me, need to perfect this skill. Lets move on to the next step of the shave.

The Proper way to prepare the skin for the razor is to apply some sort of lubricant. At this point, Spic reached over to another stainless steel box, only this one was smaller. He pressed a button and out came hot, steamy, creamy, thick foam. This was the lubricant, which was to be applied before the razor ever touched the skin. This shaving cream was soothing and pleasant. Its purpose was to soften the whiskers and lubricate the face so when the razor was applied, no pain would be felt. And that's what meekness is! It's a spiritual lubricant for dealing with others who've had a hair-raising experience. Actually, it's always good to use it when dealing with others in most any situation. Let me say this: Meekness is not weakness. We can still apply strength to our conversation as long as it is tempered with meekness. Meekness is what is applied to reduce or avoid friction when dealing with others. The Bible says, "A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger." ~ Proverbs 15:1. Paul had this ability more than most in the N.T. Moses held the distinction of being the meekest man in the Old Testament: "(Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.)" ~ Numbers 12:3. How's that for a title? Jesus is the meekest of them all. And it's His example we should follow. There is a time for war when meekness will not do. But, most of the time, meekness should be a staple when dealing with others in civil situations. Wisdom is knowing when to use it. It's our stinking emotions that get in the way most of the time.

Turning back to the shave, Spic would apply the creamy foam gently upon my skin. Then he would take the razor and very gently scrape it against my skin in short quick strokes until a small area was cleared of any stubble. He would then wipe the razor against a towel he had strewn over his shoulder and begin again, Short, quick strokes, then wiping it clean. 'Scrape, scrape, scrape, thwip, thwip. Scrape, scrape, scrape, thwip, thwip...' Carefully, he would repeat the Process over and over until not a whisker was found. From his perspective, he knew what he was doing and was not in the least bit nervous. However, being that it was my first time in his chair for this Procedure, I was somewhat concerned. Its that way when we speak to someone when an admonishing word is warranted. If we have to deal with someone who is in open sin, especially when their sin effects you or your family, it is best to apply the admonishment with delicate words and a demeanor of meekness. The meekness and soft words will more than likely soften the reaction of the hearer instead of hardening his heart.

I remember learning this lesson from a very dear woman. Before I was saved, I enlisted in the military. The Drill Sergeants taught us some really interesting things, like how to talk. By the time Basic Training was over with, I was able to cuss the wallpaper off a wall! I threw 'F-Bombs' everywhere and at everybody. It was, "Pass the blankety-blank mashed potatoes, please." And, "What the blankety-blank are you talking about?" I was not known for real flowery speech, if you know what I mean. Anyway, by the time I arrived in Tech School to be trained in my new career, I felt rich enough to go to the Base Exchange (B-Ex) and buy a Boom Box. It played and recorded onto a new invention called a cassette tape. It was the newest thing around, sort of like today's 4-G phones that records streaming video while swimming laps around the pool. I decided to use the recording function to send audio letters to my girlfriend back home in Florida. She was a southern belle from South Carolina whose Dad was a retired Air Force Lt. Col. that happened to be a pilot. He moved his wife and only daughter to Florida to retire and live the good life. At that time in my life, everyday was like Heaven. The sky seemed bluer, the birds sang beautifully and the flowers smelled sweeter. For her, I'm sure it was the same. Then an awful thing happened. We met! No, I'm just kidd'n. Anyway, she was a sweet innocent girl who was raised Properly by her Mom and Dad, and here I was leaning a new language, that to me, and everyone else around me, was socially acceptable.

So, one night I began my audio letter, "Hi Darl'n! How the blankety-blank are you?" It went down hill from there. I said the most vile and outrageous things one could think of. I brought cussing to a new art form. I wove a tapestry of obscenity, that for all I know, still hovers over the Rocky Mountains to this day. By the time I finished the sixty minute tape, I'm sure her parents had to invest a good sum on therapy. It was awful! The sad part is, I didn't know I was doing anything wrong. Around me, everyone spoke that way. It was part of the culture of being in military basic training. After a short while I received a taped letter from my girlfriend in response. She sounded as sweet as ever. After she concluded her message she said she had a special treat for me. Her Mom, who I loved dearly, wanted to say, 'Hello.' This woman epitomized sweetness. I think she invented it. She calmly spoke these words in a calm and soft southern tone:  

"Hi son! We sure do miss you here. I'm glad to hear that you're in such good spirits. My Lil girl was so happy when she got your tape, she wanted to share it with all of us. I must say that you sure do sound different. What we heard was a little shocking to say the least. You know we all love you and want only your happiness, but that doesn't mean that you have to express yourself in such a vulgar way. Son, I married the Air Force, but I didn't have to live with it in my home. My husband was above that kind of behavior and I know that you are too. The next time we hear from you, please take this into consideration. Remember; we love you very much; we just don't love that kind of behavior." After I stopped the tape, I felt so small, that I wanted to crawl inside of a thimble and hide. I have never felt so ashamed. I wasn't mad at her because she was right. I didn't even have to get over what she said. I immediately realized how offensive I had been and was sorry I spoke every filthy word. At eighteen years old I wasn't exactly the sharpest piece of cheese on the cracker. I went along with everything my peers did just to fit in. I seldom used that kind of language in High School, and certainly not to this degree. My Mom would've gotten out the Lifebuoy Soap and had a field day with my tonsils! What was I thinking?

The truth of the matter is, my girlfriend's Mom was applying 'Meekness' to her admonishment towards me. She did it with the skill of a veteran Barber handling a straight razor to my face. She cut me to the quick, but she never left a mark. She wasn't finished though, and neither was Spic the Barber. After he wiped the last whisker off of his blade onto his towel, he reached for several bottles. He knew that my face just took a beating, even though I didn't hurt. What he knew that I didn't was that after a while, my skin would begin to burn if one more measure wasn't taken. He poured some sweet smelling oils on his hands and began spreading them upon my freshly shaved face and throat. He didn't apply just one kind of emollient, he applied at least three. The smell was as sweet as one could imagine and as soothing as the balm of Gilead. The sweetness of my girlfriend's Mom's words were just as soothing when she ended her message. With the assurance that she loved me, even though I shamed myself, was enough to take her admonishing to heart and learn from my mistake. She made a bitter pill easier to swallow when she applied the honey of meekness. Her balm, or oil is a picture of how the Holy Spirit deals with each and every one of us. Yes, I was ashamed, but after I learned my lesson, I wanted nothing more than to make it up to her. Was I bitter? No. I was grateful.

Perhaps there is a situation among some of us, which needs to be addressed in the spirit of meekness. Have you or someone you know experienced a hair-raising episode in their life? Did it bring out the worst in you or them? Before addressing the situation, have we lathered up the situation with the right amount of spiritual lubricant? If so, are we skillful enough with our sharpened instrument to lop off the whiskers of sin without causing unwanted friction? And, after admonishing, do we apply enough loving balm to sooth the admonished when it is all over with? Did we perform the confrontation in such a way that they could be approached again if needed? And what about us? Are we above reproach to where we cannot be confronted with a sin in our lives that encroaches upon others? Are we showing enough fruit of meekness, where we can accept a shave or two without squirming in our chair? The razor cuts both ways, doesn't it?

Let us, including myself, be aware of how we interact with others by using the spirit of meekness. Let us be sensitive to their feelings and needs. Let's become masters of our tongues and apply meekness whenever we can. Meekness is one of nine Fruit of the Spirit. They are all one Fruit, which are just applied differently. Meekness is a spiritual lubricant that will reduce or eliminate friction between two or more individuals. This message has nothing to do with tithing, pastoral authority or the Main-Stream Institutional 'Church' System, but I felt it needed to be posted. Prayerfully, the Lord will direct those who need it, to read it, so that they may be edified, and He may be glorified. Thank you for visiting ChurchPros.

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