The word meek is not a word that is en vogue today. Most people don’t know what it means and if they did know what it meant they still wouldn’t be interested in any attempt at being meek. For the Christian this is an exceptional word and one of the biggest evidences of saving faith we have. It is so important that Jesus used this in His teaching on the Sermon on the Mount. It is one of the first qualities that enters into the life of a believer after salvation.
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. – Matthew 5:5
Whatever comes to your mind when you think about meekness is probably not what it actually means and the most important thing to understand is that meekness is not weakness. It does not mean mousy, or shy. It does not mean cowardly or withdrawn. It does not indicate a lack of desire to engage people. Actually quite the opposite.
πραΰς praÿs, apparently a primary word; mild, i.e. (by implication) humble:—meek.
“The term sometimes was used to describe a soothing medicine or a soft breeze. It was used of colts and other animals whose naturally wild spirits were broken by a trainer so that they could do useful work.” – MacArthur New Testament Commentaries
This is not an admirable quality by an unbelieving world. In this world we are expected to be aggressive, assertive and take charge kind of men or women. The only way to get ahead is to attack. But here Jesus says, “No!” Be mild, be humble, be meek.
Matthew 11:29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle (meek) and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
Meekness comes from a lowly heart. A low moral opinion of oneself. Not thinking too highly of yourself. This is the exact opposite of what the world desires in a person. This is the exact opposite of what we want in ourselves. We want to be noticed. We want to be acknowledged for our greatness and our accomplishments. We desire our fair share of notoriety.
I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. – Ephesians 4:1-3
I don’t know about you but that is not easy is it? I mean is that natural for you because it’s not for me… There is only one way to meekness and that is through the power of the Spirit.
There is also another side to meekness. Which does not appear weak. It is a level of boldness that comes through the empowerment of the Spirit as well. Jesus was lowly and gentle and Jesus was bold. Jesus was confrontational. Jesus was sarcastic and sometimes seemingly rude. Jesus is our perfect model and left us a perfect example to follow.
John MacArthur in his commentary says this:
“Meekness does not connote weakness. The word was used in much extrabiblical literature to refer to the breaking of an animal. Meekness means power put under control. A person without meekness is “like a city that is broke into and without walls” (Prov. 25:28). “He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit, than he who captures a city” (Prov. 16:32). An unbroken colt is useless; medicine that is too strong will harm rather than cure; a wind out of control destroys. Emotion out of control also destroys, and has no place in God’s kingdom. Meekness uses its resources appropriately.” (MacArthur New Testament Commentaries)
Meekness is an essential quality for the Christian. It doesn’t come naturally and it doesn’t come easily. It is imparted to the believer in regeneration but it is a skill that requires refinement. It is a way to work out your salvation with fear and trembling. We need to develop the qualities that God says He gives us in salvation to bring Him glory. Let him who stole no longer steal… (Ephesians 4:28) It is an evidence of saving faith that should grow as the believer grows in holiness.
Put off the old man that grows corrupt and put on the new man, be renewed in the spirit of your mind… Ephesians 4:22-24
When we have been redeemed by the blood of Christ, we develop meekness and are submissive to the call to proclaim His name. This often takes us to places that require boldness. It demands a level of confrontation that many are uncomfortable with. The Christian and the unbeliever can be uncomfortable. The Lord demands it and it is indicative of saving faith.
Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. – Matthew 5:11
Most won’t sign up for this. Most that profess Christ won’t desire persecution. They won’t seek this type of meekness. This is hard. This is narrow and restrictive, this is often viewed as judgmental.
Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus. – Acts 4:13
Can this be said of you? Can this be said of me?
Will you be accused of being meek and there be enough evidence to convict you? May the Lord grow us in His grace to be meek and to be bold that His name might receive the glory for which we were saved.