What is meekness?
A Message from James
“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth”.
The meaning of “meekness” has been confused for a long time, even in Christian circles. Generally, when people speak of meekness they mean “niceness” or “easy-goingness”. However, that is not what Jesus meant. Martyn Lloyd-Jones said that “niceness” or “easy-goingness” are biological (what a person is born with or not born with as the case may be).
So what is meekness? The clearest definition I could find has been supplied to us by Lloyd-Jones. He said a truly meek man is one who is amazed by how well God thinks of him and treats him. Likewise, he is amazed by how well his fellow man thinks of him and treats him as well. This is a description of a person who has been truly humbled before God or to use Jesus’ words, one who is “poor in spirit” and who mourns for their sins.
It is this person who has acquired a true vision of themselves whose demeanour and attitude towards others will be changed. There will be an absence of pride and boasting in themselves and clear evidence of humility, mildness, patience, and reluctance to retaliate against wrongs done to them. The problem is that these qualities are not natural to us and are impossible for anyone to bring about on their own. Even David, Jeremiah, and Paul weren’t meek by virtue of their own nature.
However, there was someone who was, by nature, truly “meek and lowly in heart” (Matthew 11:29) and who “did not consider equality with God something to be grasped” (Philippians 2:6). He was mild, gentle, patient, and reluctant to retaliate against the injustices committed against Him. This man was Jesus Christ who died upon the cross for our sins so that we could be forgiven for our pride and arrogance. We are told that when we put our trust in Him we receive His forgiveness and the gift of the Holy Spirit so that we can share in the fruit of meekness and be the blessed people of God. James