For many years, I have been fascinated by the biblical concept of ‘meekness’. We know that Moses ‘was very meek,’ [Numbers 12:3], and yet he was chosen to lead Israel out of slavery and establish them as a functioning nation. Of Himself, Yahshua said, ‘I am meek and lowly in heart.’ [Matthew 11:29]; and what an amazing example of determination, courage and strength He was. These two men simply didn’t fit with the concept of meekness prevailing when I first began to study it. At the time, I was haunted [and challenged] by Paul’s urgent appeal to the Ephesians, “I…beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, with all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love.” [Ephesians 4:1-2, KJ21; emphasis added]
The Greek word translated ‘meekness’ is not easily expressed in English. I discovered that the word doesn’t describe a person who is mild because they cannot be otherwise, but someone who is gentle, despite the resources at their command; like Moses and Yahshua. We are looking at someone who, behind the gentleness, has a strength of steel, someone under perfect control. True meekness is an attitude of heart, a gentleness of nature achieved by an in-wrought grace of the soul. It is neither elated nor down-cast, because it isn’t occupied with ‘self’ at all. It provides an evenness of spirit by which we can accept all Yahweh’s dealings with us. In fact, the meekness that Yahshua showed, and which is commended to us as believers, is actually a fruit of power! [see Galatians 5:23]. And fruit, as we know, takes time to grow! The Holy Spirit works within us, and in our lives, to produce those qualities that Paul urges upon us.
From my student days, I kept some thoughts on my understanding of Ephesians 4:1-2; they remain challenging!
With humbleness of mind and gentleness of heart, we should patiently exercise that quality of self-restraint which does not hastily retaliate or promptly punish, but extends the same kind of mercy shown by Yahweh, and generously makes allowances from a spirit of agape, that same quality of love with which Yahweh loves Yahshua.
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