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Scripture Reading: Psalm 37:7-11
Character Building: Meekness (Part 5)
1. Col 3:12: Meekness is a companion of humility (lowliness of mind).
2. Common misconception is that meekness is “weakness”; a form of cowardice and indecisiveness. No such idea in the word.
3. Instead, it is the character of the Christ, Matt 11:29; 2 Cor 10:1.
4. We must correctly define meekness in order to know its place in our character as we conform to the image of Christ, Eph 4:1-3.
I. MEEKNESS DEFINED (prates: describes a condition of mind and heart).
A. Describes (1) A Soothing Quality, (2) A Gentle Conduct, and (3) Spiritual Poise and Strength. (“spirit of meekness”, Gal 6:1)
1. Humble and kind demeanor that calms another’s anger.
a. Such trust in the Lord, not their own strength, and so focus on Him in time of conflict, Zeph 3:12.
2. It produces gentle conduct (by one with power to do differently).
3. The ability to take unkind remarks with good nature.
a. When embroiled in controversy, able to discuss without losing temper (Moses, Num 12:2-3). Meekness is not occupied with self.
b. Aristotle: “the ability to bear reproaches and slights with moderation, and not to embark on revenge quickly, and not to be easily provoked to anger, but to be free from bitterness and contentiousness, having tranquility and stability of spirit.” (On Virtues and Vices)
4. The balanced combination of strength and gentleness.
a. E.g., a horse that is obedient to the reins.
b. Meekness is the result of properly directed strength (Gal 5:23, associated with self-control).
B. Meekness toward God.
1. “Disposition of spirit in which we accept His dealings with us as good, and therefore without disputing or resisting.” (Thayer)
a. Meek and quiet spirit of great value to God, 1 Pet 3:4.
b. Paul’s meekness toward God, cf. 2 Cor 12:7-9.
2. “In the OT, the meek are those wholly relying on God rather than their own strength to defend them against injustices.” (Thayer)
-Moses: Num 12:1-3, 6-8. God’s “face to face” relationship with Moses occurred in part because of his meekness. (Faithful, fellowship)
a. When God speaks -- Hear and obey (1 Sam 3:10).
(cf. how to be saved, worship, moral values, etc.)
b. When opposed -- Give place to God’s wrath (Rom 12:19).
C. Meekness toward People, Titus 3:2.
1. As a spouse, toward your mate, Col 3:18-19 (1 Pet 3:3-4).
2. As a parent, toward our children, Col 3:21.
3. As an employee, toward our employer, Col 3:22-25.
4. As an employer toward your employee, Col 4:1.
II. PURSUING MEEKNESS, 1 Tim 6:11.
A. For the Blessing that it Brings to you, Matt 5:5; cf. Psa 37:11, 34.
-To inherit abundant blessings of God for His saints.
B. When Helping the Fallen, Gal 6:1; cf. 1 Cor 4:21.
-Goal is restoration, not ridicule.
C. When Teaching the Gospel, 2 Tim 2:24-26.
-Correction given without meekness is rarely heard and applied.
D. When We Receive the Word of God, Jas 1:21 (Isa 61:1).
-Remove sin so the word will have a place to reside.
E. When We Answer Questions about Our Hope, 1 Pet 3:15-16.
-Combined with reverence and a good conscience.
F. As We Seek the Lord, Zeph 2:3 (Acts 17:27).
-Escape the judgment of sin.
G. As We Grow in Heavenly Wisdom, Jas 3:13-18.
-Meekness is the fruit of divine wisdom in our hearts and lives.
1. Meekness is that virtuous quality by which…“we treat all men with perfect courtesy, that we can rebuke without rancor, that we can argue without intolerance, that we can face the truth without resentment, that we can be angry and sin not, that we can be gentle and yet not weak.” (Barclay)
2. Matt 11:28-30: The meek will come to and be received by Jesus. What about you?
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