Motivating people to practice intentional acts of kindness

Meekness is not Weakness

Meekness is not weakness. It is not to be identified with niceness, softness, or passiveness. It is not like being timid or shy. It is important that we in no way see meekness as something we can equate with some personality types, and not with others. Meekness is not something we inherit or pass along to our children genetically.

Meekness is compatible with strength. It is also consistent with being authoritative, powerful and bold. A person may be truly meek and at the same time daring, forthright and assertive.

When we look at the Biblical examples of meekness, we see that meekness and boldness are like two sides of the same coin. True boldness, the kind that will stand up for the truth, and even die for it if necessary, is more possible when there is an inner quality of meekness present.

By meekness we mean an inner spirit motivated to do God's will, to serve Jesus, and others. It is a spirit that does not trust its own power, nor is it always watching out for itself. With this spirit a person is not terribly concerned about his or her own privileges, possessions, rights and status.

In meekness there is present an attitude that enables a person to see himself. As Paul the Apostle says, "Having nothing, yet having everything". In other words, he is not afraid of losing because he has a sense of well-being that cannot be taken away. He, or she, has an understanding of themselves that they, in fact, cannot be knocked down. There is an emptying of oneself which actually generates fullness.

We see these two characteristics, often thought to be opposites, in Moses and Jesus. They are specifically referred to as meek. At the same time their lifestyles, their actions, their behavior, is very bold. In Numbers 12:3, of the Old Testament, we read. "The man Moses was very meek". The lives of both Moses and Jesus have a lot of parallels. In Moses we see a type of Christ. Moses, for example, gave up the privileges of being the son of Pharaoh's daughter, and all the glory that that could have held for him, in order to lead his people to the promised land. In the process we see the meek Moses boldly confronting Pharaoh, speaking forthrightly with God, demanding of his people many hard things.

Decades later we read that Jesus gave up the privileges of being God in order to become a human, physical, person. As a human being he boldly confronted religious and civil leaders. He was straight forward to those who had lived illegal lives. Jesus was able to live a kind of life that said "no" to some people's expectation and demands, instead of pleasing them. So we see both in Moses and in Jesus, whom the Bible describes as being meek, that they are also bold.

As Christians we are expected to embody this meekness of which Jesus speaks in Matthew 5: "Blessed are the meek". Unfortunately, this quality has too long and too generally been identified with a kind of weak passivity or niceness that is neither very respectable nor very likable. The meek do not step up to the challenge. They stand on the sidelines.

Meekness must be seen as a quality of our spirits produced by the spirit of Jesus. It helps to have the courage to be bold as we live the Christian life. Meekness and boldness are inseparable. Those who would be truly bold, as opposed to being aggressive, demanding, unyielding or displaying a self-centered toughness with others, must take on Jesus’ spirit of meekness. Selfless while living strongly to help others. Self denying as they take on hard challenges.


Do these thoughts cause you to think differently about whether meekness is a positive or negative quality?

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At my age ’Getting lucky’ means walking into a room and remembering what I came in there for.

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Dr. James Kok

Dr. James Kok is the founder of the Care and Kindness Campaign