2 with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love,
and gentleness [meekness],
The English conveys a false impression with the word “gentleness.” A better idea of the word is “meekness,” but even that does not portray a proper impression of the word. The Greek idea is inwrought grace; it is the attitude that accepts God’s dealings with us as good.
“Gentleness” does not describe a timid, cowardly, or weak person. It is the quality of someone who does not have the need for vengeance or vindictiveness (Mt 5:5; 11:29). Gentleness is a fruit of the Spirit (Ga 5:23). There is an inner core in the believer where he can be flexible with others (Co 3:12; Ph 4:5).
The meek individual does not insist on his rights. He recognizes that everything he has is an act of God’s grace to his soul. He would rather receive the wrong than give it. He realizes that he can claim no rights before God. All his rights were made available by the Lord.
The exercise of meekness is chiefly toward God. This attitude accepts God’s dealings with us as good.
Meekness is an attitude that everything we have is an act of God’s grace.
David was meek when he refused to kill King Saul in the cave near Engedi. He had every reason to kill him but he took the higher road (1 Sa 24:1-7). Moses was meek but he boldly confronted Pharaoh. Meekness is self-control (Pr 16:32). Meekness is power under control.
We should not confuse meekness with weakness. It has to do with giving deference to others and being willing to waive our rights. Obviously meekness cannot be identified with spineless Casper Milquetoast, someone controlled by everyone who may come along. Meekness does not allow others to dominate it.
Mt 11: 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
2 Co 10: 1 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.
Meekness is an uncomplaining disposition that bears irritations from others with grace. It is free from resentment.
We do not find many books in our bookstores about “Meekness and How I Obtained It” because that would be a contradiction in itself.