We don’t measure the depth and quality of meekness and humility by a lack of self-confidence. Self-sabotage and self-deprecating actions are not characteristics of the meek and the humble. Rather, meekness and humility is a willingness to self-confront, to be honest with yourself and about yourself. The meek and the humble are willing to take accountability for their own actions and behavior. The meek and humble neither inflate their accomplishments and strengths nor minimize their limitations and short-comings. Meekness and humility drives integrity and moral courage. In those moments when integrity and moral courage is unpopular, then if you are paying attention, you will glimpse the strength and power of meekness and humility.
Many years ago an executive of a large retailer called me to talk about his company, which was being bought out by one of its competitors. He and numerous other headquarters personnel were extremely anxious that they might lose their jobs. Knowing that I was well acquainted with senior management of the acquiring company, he asked if I would be willing to both introduce him and give a strong reference on his behalf, even to arrange a meeting for him. He then concluded with the following statement: “You know what they say? ‘The meek shall perish!’”
I understood his comment was more than likely intended as humor. I got the joke. But there was an important principle that I felt might ultimately be of use to him. I replied, “Actually, that isn’t what they say. In fact, it is just the opposite. ‘The meek … shall inherit the earth’ is what they say.”
In my experience in the Church as well as throughout my professional career, some of the greatest, most effective people I have known have been among the most meek and humble.
Humility and meekness fit hand in glove. May we remember that “none is acceptable before God, save the meek and lowly in heart.”
Story told by Gary E. Stevenson
“Spiritual Eclipse” October General Conference 2017