Gentleness is an active trait, describing the manner in which we should treat others. Meekness is a passive trait, describing the proper Christian response when others mistreat us.
The Practice of Godliness, NavPress, 2016, p.181.
Edwin Hubbel Chapin
Courage is always greatest when blended with meekness; intellectual ability is most admirable when it sparkles in the setting of a modest self-distrust; and never does the human soul appear so strong as when it foregoes revenge and dares to forgive an injury.
Nothing is more powerful than meekness. For as fire is extinguished by water, so a mind inflated by anger is subdued by meekness. By meekness we practice and make known our virtue, and also cause the indignation of our brother to cease, and deliver his mind from perturbation.
Francis de Sales
Humility makes our lives acceptable to God, meekness makes us acceptable to men.
Quoted in Introduction to the Devout Life, Catholic Way Publishing 2015, p.183.
The salvation of this human world lies nowhere else than in the human heart, in the human power to reflect, in human meekness and human responsibility.
International Herald Tribune, February 21, 1990.
Meekness is calm confidence, settled assurance, and rest of the soul. It is the tranquil stillness of a soul that is at rest in Christ. It is the place of peace. Meekness springs from a heart of humility, radiating the fragrance of Christ.
Adolf Hitler *(for contrast)
You see, it’s been our misfortune to have the wrong religion. Why didn’t we have the religion of the Japanese, who regard sacrifice for the Fatherland as the highest good? The Mohammedan religion [Islam] too would have been more compatible to us than Christianity. Why did it have to be Christianity with its meekness and flabbiness?
Quoted in Albert Speer, Inside the Third Reich, 1969, p. 115.
Darrell W. Johnson
The philosopher Aristotle taught that meekness was to be highly desired. He described it as a mean between anger and indifference, as the middle ground between excessive anger on the one hand and the inability to show anger at all on the other. Taking his cue from Aristotle, William Barclay renders Jesus’ words, “Blessed is the man who is always angry at the right time, and never angry at the wrong time.” Oh to be so meek!
Darrell W. Johnson
First, the quality Jesus blesses in the third Beatitude has nothing to do with all the negative images triggered by the English word “meek.” Although it is a challenge to pin down the exact meaning of the original word Jesus uses, it clearly does not mean no brain, no brawn, no backbone; it clearly does not mean no convictions, no courage, no spirit, no drive, no guts. How do we know this? For one simple reason: Only two people in the Bible are explicitly described by the word Jesus uses in His Beatitude—Moses and Jesus. Hardly wimps!
Don Marquis (*for humor)
Pity the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
We spend the whole of our whole lives watching ourselves. But when a man becomes meek he has finished/
Studies in the Sermon on the Mount (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1959–60), p.57.
Self-renunciation is the way to world-dominion.
The Words of the Lord Jesus, I, translated by William B. Pope, 1855, T. and T. Clark, 1874.
Tikhon of Zadonsk
As fire is not extinguished by fire, so anger is not conquered by anger, but is made even more inflamed. But meekness often subdues even the most beastly enemies, softens them and pacifies them.
The meek man will attain a place of soul rest. As he walks on in meekness he will be happy to let God defend him. The old struggle to defend himself is over. He has found the peace which meekness brings.
Warren W. Wiersbe
Meekness is power under control.
Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines on the New Testament, David C Cook, 1992, p.502.
Still Looking for inspiration?
Consider checking out our illustrations page on Meekness.