Blessed restraint

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.-2

We have an issue with meekness, as Christians. We’re just not sure what it is.

We confuse it with timidity, and deny a gift of God in the process. As 1 Timothy 1:7 (NLT) tells us, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.”

Or, we think that to be timid we must be submissive. Submission is part of meekness, but it is submission to God not to the powers of the world.

Sometimes, we equate meekness with being tame or weak, but that is not what Jesus is suggesting when he says the meek will inherit the earth. The Greek word used here for “meek” is the same as word that is used to describe a horse that had been broken, suggesting power under control

In the 1700s, Matthew Henry wrote these words to describe meekness in his extensive commentary (emphasis mine):

The meek are those who quietly submit themselves to God, to his word and to his rod, who follow his directions, and comply with his designs, and are gentle towards all men (Titus 3:2); who can bear provocation without being inflamed by it; are either silent, or return a soft answer; and who can show their displeasure when there is occasion for it, without being transported into any indecencies; who can be cool when others are hot; and in their patience keep possession of their own souls, when they can scarcely keep possession of any thing else.

Henry’s words hold true today. We are meek when we submit to God, speaking calmly and firmly in the face of angry confrontation. Yet, we are also meek when we show proper anger in a way that does not make us cross over into sin. Think about Jesus whose anger at the abuse of the temple in Jerusalem sent doves flying, coins scattering and sheep running as he turned the tables in the court of the Gentiles.

That is the picture of power under restraint. Power that could have called down fire from heaven settled for making a whip out of cords to drive the sellers from the temple. Power that spoke the earth into being refused to call angels to his aid when he faced death on the cross.

This is meekness, and this is strength. When we find the place where our strength and our will meets submission to the power and plan of God, we are makarios.


This post is part of this year’s #write31days challenge. Click here to see all of the posts. To learn more about the challenge, visit

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