Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Is Meek Weak?

Both Nahum and Zephaniah talk about humility, meekness. I looked up “meek” in Webster’s dictionary, and here’s the definition it gave:

1) Patient and mild. Not inclined to anger or resentment.

2) Tamely submissive, easily imposed on;

3) Gentle or kind

Webster’s even gave what the world would define as meek: “too submissive; spineless; spiritless”

In the Old Testament the meekest man who ever lived was Moses and in the New Testament Jesus described Himself as meek. Neither one of those men were too submissive, spineless or spiritless, so what is Biblical meekness?

Vine’s Expository Dictionary describes Biblical meekness in this way: "Not just the way a person acts on the outside, but an inward grace of the soul that is pointed towards God. It is that quality in a person which accepts God’s dealings with him [or her] as good, so he [or she] doesn’t dispute with God or resist Him."

Meekness and humility are closely linked in the Bible. Only the humble heart can be meek, to not resist God.

Because of the nature of meekness, being meek towards God ends up translating into meekness with other people out of the sense that any suffering that comes with what other people do and say to you are allowed by God and used by God to chasten and purify you.

It’s getting a bit clearer why the world associates meekness with weakness, isn’t it?

But the Biblical sense of meekness is actually the fruit of power. Think about Jesus. He had the infinite resources of God at His command, but He held that power in check so that God’s will would always be done, God’s words would always be spoken, even when that meant personal sacrifice and suffering for Jesus, even to death.

The meek person stops thinking about him or herself, and being worried about what other people think. A meek person’s thoughts are oriented towards God.

When Jesus is your strength, your righteousness, your courage; when Jesus’ pleasure in you is your measure of success, when Jesus’ love for you is what makes you feel beautiful, then you can be humble and confident at the same time.

The meek person knows that in him or herself s/he is nothing, but in God s/he is everything. The world will never see you as God sees you, but for the meek person that’s okay, because you are content with God’s values and God’s view.

A.W. Tozer wrote;

“Artificiality is one curse that will drop away the moment we kneel at Jesus’ feet and surrender ourselves to His meekness. Then we will not care what people think of us so long as God is pleased...The rest Jesus offers is the rest of meekness, the blessed relief which comes when we accept ourselves for what we are and cease to pretend.”

If this post got you to thinking, please leave a comment and join the conversation


  1. Good post!

    I did get me thinking. I agree that people can be humble and confident at the same time, though most do not associate the word "meekness" with confidence at all.

    Another things I agree with in this post is the challenging of the word as it is ordinarily used. I think that if a word is mis-used, it should be redefined and carefully used, in the proper meaning.

    I also wrote a blog on this topic:

    I'd love to hear what you think of it.

  2. Thanks Skarlet, I'll go over to your post and see what you have to say, too.


Thank you for sharing your thoughts