2 to speak evil of no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing all humility to all men.
showing all humility [meekness] to all men.
The Greek word for “humility” is meekness. Trench, a Greek scholar, rendered meekness as inwrought grace exercised chiefly towards God. The meek person carries a temper that accepts all God’s dealings with us as good. He endures anything that might come his way because he accepts adverse circumstances as from God. He does not fight God on any issue. Meekness acknowledges the self as sinful with no right to look down on others.
Meekness is not weakness but unselfishness. There is a big difference between weakness and selflessness. A meek person is a powerful person. Moses was a strong leader but at the same time bore meekness in his soul. He did not have the attitude of haughty self-sufficiency.
Neither does meekness mean self-effacement. Meekness means that we have no illusions about ourselves. We think in terms of inwrought grace. Everything that we have and are is from God’s grace. We deserve nothing from God. Everything is a gift from God. Neither do we deal with God or others on a merit system.
A meek person understands that he has God’s infinite resources at his call.
A meek person does not try to make deals with God. He views himself as unworthy before God. He operates on inwrought grace exercised chiefly toward God so he does not resist God’s sovereign actions on his soul. He does not fight God’s will. Everything that he has, he has from God.
When Shimei cursed David and flung stones at him, David accepted that action as from God, not from Shimei (2 Samuel 16:11). David accepted this action as an action of God’s justice.
A meek orientation does not mean that we have no regard for self but that we do not assert ourselves for our own sake. This is the opposite of pride. When we completely commit personal vengeance to God’s justice, we depend on God. This not to say that we cannot stand up for ourselves, but it does mean that we do not assert our rights for our own sake independently of God.
When a “meek” person accepts God’s dealings with him as just and right, this is grace shaped into his soul. He recognizes God’s dealings in his life and accepts those dealings as God’s perfect will. This is the polar opposite of self-assertiveness. This person does not live for self-interest but for others. He has a sense of equanimity toward others.
“Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering…” (Colossians 3:12).
God does not take delight in weakness. Meekness is not weakness. God does not want us to come to Him with our tails between our legs like a whipped dog. God does not take delight in dispensing His grace to whipped dogs that wag their tails out of fear. He does not hold feeble character in high value.
Some people by nature are more mild mannered than others. This is not meekness. A good disposition comes from our heritage, not our character; otherwise, a person who had coarse character could not develop meekness in the power of the Spirit. Moses was meek, not because he was that way by nature. He killed an Egyptian in a rage. A meek person is someone whom God orients to a blessed life (Matthew 11:28). Jesus does not say, “Blessed are those who have the greatest success in life” or “Blessed are the gifted and clever” but “Blessed are the meek.”
Meekness is the state whereby a person enjoys who and what God is. We cannot acquire meekness by following some overt behavior pattern. Meekness comes from God who works within us. We cannot have this apart from God. When we have it, we operate independently from external influences on our souls, for we enjoy God regardless of circumstance. We cannot make God blessed but He can make us blessed.
What happens within us is more important than what happens to us. If we build no inner buttresses, then we will fall prey to what happens to us. We have no defense against the enemy. Some fall prey to bitterness because they do not have a counteracting quality of character to stand against it.
Jesus called Himself “meek” (Matthew 11:28, 29). His mission was to do the Father’s will. Jesus was meek because He understood that He had all the infinite resources of God at his call.
“Now I, Paul, myself am pleading with you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ— who in presence am lowly among you, but being absent am bold toward you” (2 Corinthians 10:1).