Are you meek?

465 they are gentleA fruit of the Holy Spirit is meekness (Gal 5,22). The Greek word for it is "praotes," which means meek or considerate; it expresses what is meant by "a soul of man". Meekness and consideration are used interchangeably in some Bible translations, such as the New Geneva Translation (NGT).

The Bible attaches great importance to gentleness or consideration. It says, "the meek will receive the earth as their possession" (Mt 5,5). Gentleness is not a very popular or widely used word today. Our society is obsessed with being aggressive. To move forward, you have to swim with the sharks. We live in an elbow society and the weak are quickly pushed aside. However, it is a big mistake to combine gentleness with weakness. Gentleness or consideration is not a weakness. Jesus described himself as a meek man, and he was a long way from a weak, spineless sissy who avoided all problems (Mt 11,29). He was not indifferent to his environment or the needs of others.

Many legendary historical personalities such as Lincoln, Gandhi, Einstein and Mother Teresa were meek or considerate, but not fearful. They did not need to demonstrate their importance to others. They had the intention and the ability to face any obstacle that was put in their way. This inner determination is very precious to God (1, Petr 3,4) It actually takes a lot of inner strength to be truly meek. Gentleness is described as strength under control.

Interestingly, the word "gentle" was rarely heard before the Christian era and the word "gentleman" was unknown. This high quality of character is actually a direct by-product of the Christian era. Being meek or considerate is reflected in what we think about ourselves and what we think of others.

How do we deal with others when we have power over them? Blessed is the man who does not hold back more than he should, when others praise and promote him, compared to the time in life when he was still a nobody.

We should handle the words we say carefully (Spr 15,1; 25,11-15). We should be careful how we treat others (1 Thess 2,7). We should be friendly in dealing with all people (Phil 4,5). It is not our beauty that God appreciates, but our kind and balanced nature (1 Petr 3,4). A meek is not looking for a confrontation (1 Kor 4,21). An indulgent person is friendly to those who make mistakes and he knows the misstep could have happened to him as well! (Gal 6,1). God calls us to be kind and patient to everyone and to treat each other with compassion and love (Eph 4,2). When someone with Divine gentleness is asked to respond, he does so confidently, not with an offensive attitude, but with gentleness and due respect (1 Petr 3,15).

Remember, people with a meek character do not impute false motives to others while they justify their own behavior, as illustrated in the following account:

The other

  • When the other one needs a long time, he is slow.
    If I take a long time, I am thorough.
  • If the other one does not, he is lazy.
    If I do not do it, I'm busy.
  • When the other person does something without being told, he goes beyond his limits.
    When I do, I take the initiative.
  • If the other overlooks a graces, he is rude.
    If I ignore the rules, I am original.
  • If the other one satisfies the boss, he is a slime.
    If I like the boss, I cooperate.
  • If the other one gets on, he's lucky.
    If I manage to get on, it's because I worked hard.

A gentle boss will treat staff the way they want to be treated - not just because it's right, but because he knows he might one day work for them.

by Barbara Dahlgren

Are you meek?