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Bible Dictionaries

Bridgeway Bible Dictionary

Meekness

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In the Bible, meekness is so closely linked with humility, gentleness and kindness that the reader may have difficulty distinguishing between them. Together they represent a quality of human nature that was found perfectly in Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 10:1), and that is desirable in all those who follow him (Ephesians 4:1-2).

There is nothing weak or colourless about meekness. It is the very opposite of all that is self-centred, and therefore is a quality of strength. It enables people not merely to be patient when suffering unjust criticism or persecution, but to be positively forgiving (Colossians 3:12-13; Titus 3:2; see PATIENCE). The meek do not demand revenge, but leave the matter in God’s hands (Numbers 12:1-3; Numbers 16:4-5; 1 Peter 2:20-23). They do not insist upon their rights, but when circumstances arise where they are forced either to defend themselves or correct opponents, they do so with gentleness (2 Timothy 2:25; 1 Peter 3:15).

Jesus is the perfect example of meekness. He never made a show to attract praise for himself, and never damaged the faith of even the weakest believer (Matthew 12:19-20; Matthew 18:5-6; Matthew 21:5). Yet he never hesitated to denounce cruelty, pride, injustice and hypocrisy, even when it made him unpopular (Matthew 15:7-14; Matthew 21:12-13; Matthew 23:13; Matthew 23:33). He submitted to his Father and willingly served the needy around him (Matthew 20:28; John 5:30), and he expected others to do likewise. As the meek and gentle one, he accepted the burden of sin on behalf of repentant sinners. At the same time he demanded that they accept his lordship in their daily lives (Matthew 11:28-30; cf. Psalms 25:8-10).

Meekness is a characteristic of life in Christ’s kingdom (Matthew 5:5); therefore, those who enter that kingdom must exercise meekness (Matthew 20:25-26). They will learn to do this as the indwelling Spirit of God changes them into the likeness of Christ and produces the quality of meekness in them (Galatians 5:22-23; Philippians 2:3-5). (See also HUMILITY.)

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Bibliography Information
Fleming, Don. Entry for 'Meekness'. Bridgeway Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/bbd/m/meekness.html. 2004.

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