Q: #100. What does meekness mean in the Bible?

By: Steve Shirley

    A: The usual definition of meekness in the Bible is "strength under control." The "world" defines strong people as those who are assertive, take charge, proud, self-sufficient, self-reliant, and independent. A meek person is the opposite of these things, therefore, many people associate meekness with weakness. A meek person is willing to be submissive, is humble and gentle, relies on God and is dependent on Him to provide strength.

     Which of these is REALLY the weaker? If you think it is meekness, try following these attributes for a while, and you will see it is HARD! It is much more difficult to humble yourself and rely on God, than to do everything in your own strength.

     Three people in the Bible are specifically described as being meek: Jesus (Mt 11:29)
(Mt 21:5), Paul (2 Cor 10:1), and Moses (Num 12:3). Each of these men was amongst the most persecuted men in the Bible. (See: Paul's Trials for more on the trials he faced) However, they displayed the "strength under control" through their persecutions that it takes to be meek. One of the definitions in Webster's Dictionary for meek is "enduring injury with patience and without resentment." Certainly each of these men qualifies for that distinction.

     We are told in the Bible to be meek (Eph 4:2)(Col 3:12)(1 Tim 6:11)(2 Tim 2:25)(Titus 3:2). Meekness is a trait of the "fruit of the Spirit" (Q: #222.) that marks a Christian (Gal 5:23). If we are meek, the Bible says we will:

Be blessed (Mt 5:5)
Have abundance of peace (Ps 37:11)
Eat and be satisfied (Ps 22:26)
Be guided and taught by the Lord (Ps 25:9)
Be lifted up (Ps 147:6) and given salvation (Ps 149:4)

     The Bible says an unbelieving husband can be won over by the meek and quiet spirit of a believing wife (1 Pet 3:1-4). (1 Pet 3:15) continues, saying we should "be always ready to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness..." Meekness is a sign to an unbelieving world that Christ is in us.

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