It’s no secret if you’ve “listened” to me online or been in a Bible Study I’ve led: I love Biblical Word Studies. Why? Often when I read a word in the Bible I naturally overlay MY 21st century understanding of the word on to the Scripture.
Years ago I began to realize that many of the English words chosen to define Greek and Hebrew words mean something “different” to me than they did to the translators. Therefore, my first interpretation of the passage may well be different than what the Biblical authors were communicating.
One such word that was an EYE-OPENER for me was “meek” or “gentle”. For years I beat myself up because my personality did not match what various Christian leaders were describing as a “meek woman”.
Enter a Precept study on Sermon on the Mount. I had prayed for years for “God to infuse me with a meek spirit”. I wasn’t quite sure why God hadn’t chosen to answer that prayer. I knew I was going to get hammered the week that we studied “meekness”.
I was in for a huge surprise. You see *I* was meek. I simply didn’t understand what God meant, what the Biblical writers meant. Doing a Biblical study of the word excited me.
I’m currently doing a topical study of the Fruit of the Spirit in my personal trysts. I have to share the definition of “gentleness” or “meekness”, which is a fruit of the spirit.
First, any fruit in my life is produced only as I am in relationship with the Vine (Jesus) and His Holy Spirit. I can’t conjure it up on my own.
“Gentleness” – also translated Meek, Mild -
Greek Word Praotes – Strongs # 4236
Strong’s simply defines the word as “gentleness”.
Vine’s tells us it is “meek”
*Dr. Spiros Zodhiates – fleshes this word out (and Beth Moore agreed with his definition this week LOL). Here are some highlights of this exciting word:
1. Does not denote an OUTWARD expression but an INWARD grace of the soul.
2. Calmness towards God
3. Acceptance of God’s dealings with us, considering them as good in that they enhance the closeness of our relationship with Him.
4. Expressing wrath towards sin
5. In the 3rd Beatitude expresses the blessedness that exists in one’s heart from being actively angry at evil.
6. Meekness is the balance between uncontrolled and unjustified anger and not becoming angry at all no matter what takes place around you.
*Spiros Zodhiates, The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament (Chattanooga, TN, AMG pub. 1992), p 1208.
I spent YEARS trying to cultivate what was being taught as I grew up in the church as a proper “feminine meek” attitude. I discovered that the word meant far different than what I believed it did.
Check it out! It has very little to do with outward expression. Why do so many authors then focus on the external to validate our “meek spirit”? It’s to be a fruit in all believers’ lives – it’s not a singularly feminine requirement. ::snort:: At it’s root is SURRENDER to God’s dealings…..realizing that even bleak circumstances draw me closer to Him in RELATIONSHIP. It’s an INWARD GRACE. Meekness is a BALANCE between doing nothing and uncontrolled anger and rudeness. In its very make up it involves TAKING A STRONG STAND…..but it involves grace and balance. At times I’ve been guilty of uncontrolled anger characterizing my life. At other times I’ve swung to passivity. Neither is to be our godly stance when confronted with sin or an evil society.
God had worked meekness into my life as I prayed for him to root it out and to grace me with what I considered to be “meek”. ::snort::
As we begin a new school year I think of this word again. I want to homeschool with a meek spirit….a calmness, a surrender, a balance between ignoring sin and killing the sinner…..I want to be filled with His spirit which will lead to a life of meekness.
Here are a few other spots in Scripture where this word is used – with the definition above.
I Cor. 4:21 – Paul asks if he should come with a rod or a spirit of meekness
2 Cor 10:1 – Paul beseeches believers by the meekness of Christ
Gal 5:23 – a fruit of the Spirit
Gal 6:1 – Spirit that restoration with which restoration is to take place
Eph 4:2 - Show love for one another with meekness
Col 3:12 – we are to put on meekness
I Tim 6:11 – flee immorality and follow among other things meekness
2 Tim 2:25 – our teaching is to be in meekness
Titus 3:2 – we are to show meekness to all men