Meekness

Meekness is a fruit of the Spirit:

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law (Galatians 5:22-23).

And Jesus teaches us that the meek are blessed:

Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth (Matthew 5:5).

Meekness in the Greek is:

praiótēs, prah-ot'-ace (G4236) from G4235; gentleness, by implication, humility:—meekness.

Learning about Meekness from the Bible

Jesus is Our Best Example

As always, we should endeavor to model ourselves to be like Jesus:

Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls (Matthew 11:29).

Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass (Matthew 21:5).

So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you (John 13:12)? 

I am among you as he that serveth (Luke 22:27).

And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross (Philippians 2:8).

Men and Women of God who were Meek

There are many Biblical examples of children of God being meek. Here are a few:

Moses 

Imagine that, God chose the meekest person on earth as His leader. This tells us that God chooses those that are meek to lead.

Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth (Numbers 12:3).

Joseph

Another great leader showed his meekness through forgiveness when dealing with his brothers in Egypt)

Moreover he kissed all his brethren, and wept upon them: and after that his brethren talked with him (Genesis 45:15).

Ruth

Through meekness Ruth found her kinsman redeemer, Boaz. 

Then she fell on her face, and bowed herself to the ground, and said unto him, Why have I found grace in thine eyes, that thou shouldest take knowledge of me, seeing I am a stranger (Ruth 2:10).

This is the same way we find our kinsman redeemer, Jesus Christ. Oh halleluiah!

Paul

If we want to serve God, day in day out, we need to be meek (humility of mind) like Paul.

Serving the Lord with all humility of mind, and with many tears, and temptations, which befell me by the lying in wait of the Jews (Acts 20:19).

Commentaries about Meek and Meekness

Some commentaries which give insight to the meaning of meek:

"Meekness is an attitude of humility toward God and gentleness toward men, springing from a recognition that God is in control. Although weakness and meekness may look similar, they are not the same. Weakness is due to negative circumstances, such as lack of strength or lack of courage. But meekness is due to a person's conscious choice. It is strength and courage under control, coupled with kindness." [Nelson's Illustrated Bible Dictionary]

"Our word meek comes from the old Anglo-saxon meca, or meccea, a companion or equal, because he who is of a meek or gentle spirit, is ever ready to associate with anybody, feeling himself superior to none; and well knowing that he has nothing of spiritual or temporal good but what he has received from the mere bounty of God, having never deserved any favour from his hand." [Adam Clarke]

Qualities of Meekness

Qualities of meekness – ways of being that go hand in hand with being meek - sometimes these qualities relate to God and sometimes they relate to mankind.

Receives the Word

First and foremost, one cannot be meek without being able to receive the Word of God:

Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls (James 1:21 ).

This is the one I esteem: he who is humble and contrite in spirit, and trembles at my word (Isaiah 66:2 NIV).

Always Humble

One certainly cannot be meek without being humble or a having a spirit of humility. 

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land (2 Chronicles 7:14 KJV).

Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time (1 Peter 5:6).

Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 18:4).

I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted (Luke 18:14).

Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble (1 Peter 5:5).

Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up (James 4:10).

This is what W L Walker has to say about humility:

“But the habitual frame of mind of a child of God is that of one who feels not only that he owes all his natural gifts, etc., to God, but that he has been the object of undeserved redeeming love, and who regards himself as being not his own, but God's in Christ. He cannot exalt himself, for he knows that he has nothing of himself. The humble mind is thus at the root of all other graces and virtues. Self-exaltation spoils everything. There can be no real love without humility. "Love," said Paul, "vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up" (1 Corinthians 13:4).

And we are not to have false humility as Paul warns:

Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh (Colossians 2:23).

This is what Walker says about false humility:

There is a false humility, a self-sought, "voluntary humility" (Colossians 2:18,23). This still exists in many forms, and has to be guarded against. It is not genuine humility when we humble ourselves with the feeling that we are greater than others, but only when we do not think of self at all. Also it is not alone the sense of sin that should create the humble spirit: Jesus had no sin. It belongs not merely to the creature, but even to a son in relation to God. There may be much self-satisfaction where sinfulness is confessed. We may be proud of our humility. It is necessary also always to beware of "the pride that apes humility."

Wisdom

Wisdom – the meek are wise – the wise are meek:

Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom (James 3:13).

And we know that the beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord.

The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom; and before honour is humility (Proverbs 15:33 ).

From Matthew Henry's Commentary on Wisdom and Meekness

True wisdom may be known by the meekness of the spirit and temper: Let him show with meekness, etc. It is a great instance of wisdom prudently to bridle our own anger, and patiently to bear the anger of others. And as wisdom will evidence itself in meekness, so meekness will be a great friend to wisdom; for nothing hinders the regular apprehension, the solid judgment, and impartiality of thought, necessary to our acting wisely, so much as passion. When we are mild and calm, we are best able to hear reason, and best able to speak it. Wisdom produces meekness, and meekness increases wisdom.

Gentleness

Gentleness is an essential quality of a meek soul.

To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men (Titus 3:2 ).

Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand (Philippians 4:4-5). 

When you look up the word gentle used in these two scriptures in Strong’s

NT:1933 epieikes (ep-ee-i-kace');  appropriate, i.e. (by implication) mild:

KJV - gentle, moderation, patient.

These two scriptures tell us that our witness will be dependent on our meekness and gentleness as they go hand in hand. 

Serving Attitude

A meek person has a serving attitude:

But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many (Matthew 20:25-28).

Only a meek soul could possibly attempt to do what Jesus just instructed us to do – to be like Him.

Forbearing

A meek person is forbearing, that is, controls oneself when provoked.

I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love (Ephesians 4:1-2).

Correcting in Love

This is what Paul said to the Corinthians just before he criticizes them for allowing fornication to happen in their midst.

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

So if you are going to correct with love, meekness is required to make this happen.

Contentedness

A content person will always put others before themselves or think about others before themselves.

Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind (meekness) let each esteem other better than themselves (Philippians 2:3).

Meekness will bring contentment to our lives.

Behavior

Being meek will always show up in our behavior:

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law (Galatians 5:22-23).

But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness (1 Timothy 6:11).

Quietness and Calmness

But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price (1 Peter 3:4)

Whether it is jewelry as Paul was alluding to (in the verse above) or anything else that may draw attention – like a person irritated and venting – God loves a meek and quiet spirit when we are dealing with other people.

Empathetic and Sympathetic

We must put ourselves in others shoes – it could happen to us too!

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 (Galatians 6:1)

And lest, when I come again, my God will humble me among you, and that I shall bewail many which have sinned already, and have not repented of the uncleanness and fornication and lasciviousness which they have committed (2 Corinthians 12:21). 

A spirit of meekness will help us be empathetic and sympathetic.

Witnessing

Being meek will help us win the lost to our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ:

But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear (1 Peter 3:15).

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

Antonyms of Meekness

Meekness is the opposite of these unfavorable attributes:

  •  Arrogant
  • Proud
  • Impatient
  • Pompous
  • Obnoxious
  • Demeaning 
  • Abrasive 
  • Intrusive
  • Contentious
  • Self-centered
  • Cantankerous

God's Blessings for the Meek

God reserves many blessings for the meek! Here are some of them:

  • But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace (  Psalm 37:11).
  • The LORD lifteth up the meek: he casteth the wicked down to the ground (Psalm 147:6). 
  • The meek shall eat and be satisfied: they shall praise the LORD that seek him: your heart shall live for ever (Psalm 22:26).
  • The meek will he guide in judgment: and the meek will he teach his way (Psalm 25:9).
  • For the LORD taketh pleasure in his people: he will beautify the meek with salvation (Psalm 149:4).
  • The meek also shall increase their joy in the LORD, and the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel (Isaiah 29:19).
  • The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek (Isaiah 61:1).
  • And in thy majesty ride prosperously because of truth and meekness and righteousness; and thy right hand (the power of God) shall teach thee terrible (tremendous) things (Psalm 45:4).
  • Seek ye the LORD, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the LORD'S anger (Zephaniah 2:3).
  • For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones (Isaiah 57:15 ). 

In Closing

I am ending this study by going back to the beginning. Meekness is a fruit of the Spirit:

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law (Galatians 5:22-23).

Without a doubt, God has made some of us naturally meek, but for most of us, we need to be filled with the Holy Spirit if we desire to be eventually clothed in meekness. This means that we must obey the Gospel of Jesus Christ by obeying Acts 2:38. We will know that we have the Holy Spirit living in us because we will speak in tongues as the Spirit gives the utterance (Acts 2:4, Acts 10:46 and Acts 19:6).

From Meekness to Fruit of the Spirit

From Meekness to Gospel of Jesus Christ

From Meekness to Acts 2:38