A Meek and Quiet Spirit

Meek describes at least two important people in the Bible: Moses and Jesus. The NKJV uses the word humble about Moses in Numbers 12:3, and gentle about Jesus in Matthew 11:29.

“Meekness” is translated “gentleness” in modern translations. Often a meek person is thought to be quiet, weak, unwilling or unable to step forward. This description fits neither Moses nor Jesus.

The meek person is humble and gentle, submissive to God’s will, and patient in the face of conflict, suffering, or persecution, trusting in God. Jesus is, of course our best example. Jesus, the perfect, sinless God the Son, humbled Himself and became a servant. Peter described Jesus this way: “who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, he did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously.” (1 Peter 2:23) He remained submissive to the will of God the Father, even to death. (Philippians 2:5-11)

Our first act of humility and submission is when we confess our sin and receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. As we humble ourselves before Him, He will guide and teach us, He will hear our prayers, He will give us joy and peace within.

As we follow Jesus’ footsteps, the Holy Spirit produces the fruit of gentleness, or meekness, in us. In every way we are to honor God in our obedience to His Word and in our gentleness toward other people. We should always keep in mind that, when we speak to a fellow believer about his or her sin, we could fall into sin. So, we should speak meekly, humbly. Our testimony should be given humbly to those outside of Christ, pointing out that our hope rests in God’s mercy and grace.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness [meekness]…” Galatians 5:22,23


Although I’d rather be gentle, kind, and sweet, at times I struggle with being gentle or meek. I respond to criticism sharply, I complain when I’m hurting, I’m impatient when things don’t go my way. As a child I disobeyed, as a parent I didn’t always respond to my children with gentleness, as a wife I have argued with my husband. I have been thoughtless toward members of the body of Christ.

I have heard meekness defined as “power under control.” A meek or gentle person is not weak. Moses led a nation of two to three million people out of Egypt to their Promised Land. Jesus withstood the corrupt Jewish leadership and taught God’s truth with divine authority until the time came for His self-sacrifice.

In the classic Gone with the Wind, Scarlett’s sweet, humble cousin Melanie stands in contrast to the strong-willed, flamboyant heroine. Gentle and meek, Melanie reaches out to Scarlett compassionately and graciously in response to Scarlett’s indiscretions. Her strength of character helps her ease a potentially explosive situation.

“Do not let your adornment be merely outward…rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle [meek or humble] and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.” (1 Peter 3:4)

May the inner adornment of a “meek and quiet spirit” be evident in me and in you as followers of Christ.