Does Meekness = Weakness?

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Matthew 5:5 “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”

Can you define the word “meek?”  Is “meekness” a quality present in your life?  Meekness is one of the 9 Fruits of the Spirit listed in Galatians 5:22-23.  I believe it may be the least understood of all when compared to the remaining: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, faithfulness, and self-control.  Meekness is sometimes incorrectly described as gentleness. The Bible describes Moses as meek, yet Moses came with great power.  Meekness has also been summarized as “strength under control.”  Considering meekness is a quality found in those that will inherit the earth, it certainly seems deserving of further examination.

The best way to know the meaning of a word is to study passages where it is used. When this is done we will see that meekness is an attitude or quality of heart whereby a person willingly accepts and submits without resistance to the will and desires of someone else. The meek person is not self-willed – not continually concerned with self, his own ways, ideas, and wishes. He is willing to put himself in second place and submit himself to achieve what is good for others. Meekness is the opposite of self-will, self-interest, and self-assertiveness.

In the Bible, meekness is primarily emphasized as submissiveness toward God (rather than toward men). This is an attitude or quality of mind (Romans 12:3), whereby a person holds low esteem or opinion of his own goodness and importance. Spiritually, one abases himself because he realizes his sinfulness and therefore he is willing to depend on God to meet His needs. It is the opposite of pride, haughtiness, and self-exaltation.

When directed toward God, meekness requires the following: recognition of sinfulness, dependence on God, submission to God’s commands, accepting circumstances according to His will, resistance to error and false teaching (meekly) in the lives of others, and honoring of others rather than ourselves. These all sound very similar to what we are asked to do according to the “Greatest Commandment” by loving God with all our heart and soul, and loving our neighbor as ourself.  This all requires a significant level of humility, however, the focus is more specific to a humility before God, not man.  It is very different than just being humble around others in regards to our possessions, talents, or position.

In my own life I recognize the need to focus more on serving the needs and interests of others.  Philippians 2:4-5, “Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus.” This kind of person is willing to inconvenience himself in order to help others. He is willing to forgo his own desires so other people can receive what they need. Jesus gives us a perfect model for this when He states, “The greatest among you shall be your servant. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted (Matthew 2:11-12).

May we seek more than ever to place God first in our lives.  May we all have a greater understanding of “meekness” and the impact it can have on our relationship with God. Meekness IS NOT weakness.  It is strength. It is LOVE.

***I actually started to write this blog post about 2 weeks ago prior to posting it.  Even with all my research into this topic it seemed as if I still could not fully comprehend exactly what it meant by being meek.  It was as if I was missing something, yet I did not know what it was.  Over the past 2 weeks I’ve been asking God to reveal “meekness” to me and finally feel I’ve gained enough true understanding to post this.  There is much I must do in my life to truly become meek, however, with His help it is not only possible, it will be fun and rewarding.  I’ll challenge you to ask God to reveal “meekness” to you in your own life.  Below there is a segment from a sermon in which a nice explanation is given regarding meekness.  Enjoy and remember… Blessed is Best!