Meekness is not a word we use very often. Many believe that meekness means weakness. It doesn’t. It also does not mean spinelessness or indecisiveness. It does not mean to be polite or timid or even naturally kind and soft spoken.
So what is meekness? Matthew Henry said meekness is, “a quietness of spirit that calms our raging and deepens our humility. It is a kind of gentleness and self control even when the heart is hot and that requires strength.” A weak person cannot be meek.
There are two basic ways in which we need to learn meekness.
1. TOWARDS GOD
If we are meek we will want to learn from God’s Word. We will accept the hard words just as we accept the easy ones. We will also be willing to submit ourselves to God’s providence, meaning we will put our emotions aside and trust that God’s ways are better. We will see interruptions as something that is better than what we had planned. We will see the squabbling of our children as God’s ordained opportunity for us to teach them in love and to practice patience. In short, meekness will cause us to want to obey God more than I want to listen to my own selfish desires. Meekness teaches us to rest in God’s peace and follow Him with implicit faith.
2. TOWARDS OTHERS
Meekness also has a huge impact on the way we interact with others. It teaches us to talk to ourselves, to act as someone who is thinks before speaking and reacting. Meekness thinks of others first. A meek person will keep watch over their tongue (James 3:4) “even when the heart is hot.” A meek person will “think twice before [they] speak once” (Matthew Henry). Self-control is a huge part of meekness.
I have heard it said that meekness is strength under control. But I think a better way to say it is that meekness is strength that enables a person to suffer rather than sin.
Instead of being offended by a comment of a friend we can give the benefit of the doubt and let it roll off our backs. Meekness helps us remember that there have been times that we have offended others and, without Christ, we would always offend God.
“The work of meekness is to calm the spirit so that the inward peace may not be disturbed by an outward provocation.” Matthew Henry
There will come a day when this earth will be done away with and God will make a new earth. It is the meek that will inherit the earth. Meekness is a fruit of the spirit and those who are meek exhibit in their lives the power of a changed heart. We cannot be meek without the Lord’s help. It is too difficult, which is why, when we learn meekness, we can be confident that God is at work in us.
Looking to Jesus,
Week 2 Challenge: Meekness is a kind of gentleness. Where do you lack gentleness? Make it a priority this week to speak to others, especially in moments of annoyance and frustration, with gentleness.
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