We are continuing our study of the Fruit of the Spirit, which can be seen in Galatians chapter 5. In the last article, we discussed the characteristics of “goodness” and “faithfulness.”The characteristic that is mentioned next, is“meekness” (Galatians 5:23). Meekness is a highly regarded in the Bible. In Matthew Chapter 5, verse 5, Jesus says, “Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.” The personality trait of meekness is very important for every Christian to have. However, what does it mean to be meek, and how are those who exemplify meekness viewed by the world?
First of all, what does it mean to be meek? The word “meek” that is used in this verse comes from the Greek word prays which means “mildness of disposition” or “gentleness of spirit.” The word “meek” can also mean “mild” and “humble.” One who shows meekness would not act in any way that would be considered arrogant or attention-seeking.
There are various places in the Bible that encourage us to show meekness. The apostle Paul admonishes us to show meekness in Colossians 3:12 when he says, “Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;”. He encourages Timothy to do the same in I Timothy 6:11, “But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.” We are encouraged to conduct ourselves before others in a meek manner, even when we are trying to help them see their mistakes. “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). Finally, we are to be like Christ, and Christ described Himself as One who is meek, “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).
A person who shows meekness has much spiritual strength, however, that same person may be seen as weak and a “pushover” by the world’s view. Many in the world today believe that in order to be considered strong, one must adopt an arrogant, loud, and self-centered personality. This cannot be further from the truth. People who conduct themselves in this manner are focused on the here-and-now and temporary things of this world. Those who behave in ways that are not meek cannot enter into Heaven. “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).
Another good description of meekness is “strength under control.” A person does not have to be big, loud, and boisterous in order to be strong. There are those who are spiritually strong who exemplify the Christian attitude of meekness. In today’s world which exalts those who loudly speak their mind, striving for the last word, we should work to be different from the world and maintain a manner of meekness and humility, always keeping our focus on our Home in Heaven! “While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.”(II Corinthians 4:18)