Blessed are the meek, For they shall inherit the earth. Matthew 5:5 (NKJV)
Meekness is an attitude of quite, reverent and humble submission to God that results in gentleness toward others. One man described it this way, “Meekness is not only the opposite of pride, but [also] of stubbornness, fierceness and vengefulness. It is the opposite of self-will toward God and ill-will toward men.” Basically meekness is having an accurate view of myself that is shown in my attitude and conduct toward God and others.
As we look at this attitude we are reminded how these attitudes are interconnected. We start out being poor in spirit. Here we recognize our sinfulness and our complete dependence on God for any sort of righteousness. Once we truly recognize our spiritual poverty we will certainly mourn for the sins that have made us unrighteous. The natural result of this is meekness. When we truly understand our total lack of righteousness apart from God and we genuinely mourn over our sin, it will lead us to live in submission to God and to deal gently with people.
We also see with this attitude that they seem to be getting progressively harder. In the first two attitudes we only looked at ourselves in relation to God. No one can truly understand the greatness and majesty of our God and not recognize their spiritual poverty. At the same time no one can truly understand the greatness and majesty of our God and not mourn for their sins.
With this attitude however we are moving beyond just focusing on ourselves in relation to God but also focusing on our relationship with God and our relationship with others. This is why it’s so hard. It’s one thing to see my lack of righteousness and the seriousness of my sin. It’s another thing to let what I see impact my relationship with God. It also takes hard to a whole nutha level to let what I see impact the way I interact with other people.
“Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted.” (Galatians 6:1 NKJV)
Meekness and gentleness are very similar words. Those who are meek really don’t look in judgment on Christians who fall into sin because they recognize that they are susceptible to temptation and sin as well. Meekness strips away my pride and self-righteousness and allows me to seek restoration rather than give condemnation.
What are some characteristics of the meek?
The meek are willing to give up their “rights”. We live in a world that is obsessed with our rights. We could almost conclude that our rights are idols that are worshipped by our culture. In the name of rights, frivolous lawsuits are filed. In the name of rights, we demand our place in the checkout line. In the name of rights, we make sure no one takes our turn at the four way stop. In the name of rights, we are rude to our waitress because the food is cold or the service is slow. In the name of rights, we fuss, fight and treat each other horribly over the most insignificant issues. Meek people do not act in this way.
The meek serve others. What does it mean to be a servant? It means that you have a genuine desire to help others. It means that you live a life of JOY. JOY meaning, Jesus, Others, Yourself. This was certainly the example that Jesus set. As He went through life He met needs whenever the opportunity arose. These needs might have been in healing the sick, multiplying food or forgiving sins, but He met needs. On more than one occasion He had gone away with His disciples to be alone with them and crowds of people followed Him and no matter what else was going on, He took the time to serve and help them. His life exemplified genuine servanthood. Jesus exemplified meekness.
The meek let God define them. One of the things that pushes us away from being meek is our fear that others will think we are weak, or we are pushovers. Let’s be clear that meekness is not weakness. Weakness is due to negative circumstance such as a lack of strength or a lack of courage. Meekness is not a lack of strength or a lack of courage. Meekness comes from a conscious choice that we make. It is strength and courage under control. When we don’t understand this we do whatever it takes to keep people from thinking we are weak. When we do this, we are letting others decide who we are and what we do. We overcome this by knowing who we are in Christ. When we are confident of who we are in Jesus, then we will not worry about who or what others think we are.
The promise to those who are meek is that they will inherit the earth. This seems pretty contrary to popular opinion doesn’t it? The world at large doesn’t think of the meek gaining the world. Instead they think of the meek becoming the doormats of the world. Jesus says that’s really not how things work in His Kingdom. Those who are meek will receive peace and contentment in this life and will reign with Him in the life to come.
For a great picture of what meekness looked like in the life of Jesus read Philippians 2:5-11.
What kind of mind are believers to have?
How are the characteristics of meekness I described above evident from this passage?
In what ways do these things describe you?
Which of these do you need to work on?
What are you going to do to work on it?
 Rod Mattoon, Mattoon’s Treasures – Treasures from The Sermon on the Mount, Volume 1,