“Since God chose you
to be the holy people he loves,
you must clothe yourselves with
tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility,
gentleness, and patience.”
Colossians 3:12 NLT
Newer translations use the word “gentleness” rather than “meekness” to convey the meaning of the Greek word (prautes). The reason is - in today’s culture the word “meek” brings to mind someone who is sort of withdrawn, timid and shy - a “milk toasty” personality. The word originally conveyed the idea of strength. Classical Greek also used (prautes) of animals that were powerful, yet tamed and under control. In other words gentleness is power under control. That is why many present day translations use the word “gentle” instead of “meek” to convey the meaning of (prautes).
In Matthew 11:29 Jesus said, “Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle (prautes) at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Jesus had been given all power and authority in heaven and on earth, and yet refers to himself as “gentle.” That is power under control.
As parents we need to guard ourselves when we discipline our children. In times of frustration we can easily vent our anger on them and turn them against us and God. Paul warns about this in Ephesians 6:4 “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord.” Gentleness is power under control.
“Husbands, love your wives and never treat them harshly.” (Colossians 3:19) In other words, always treat your wife gently – that’s power under control.
“Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself.” (Galatians 6:1) When a fellow Christian falls into sin, we can easily be judgmental and tell ourselves, “we would never do that.” Gentleness has the power to overcome such an attitude and enable us to help the fallen Christian back on track with the Lord.
Oh Holy Spirit, show us what hinders your work in our lives. Help us to be truly repentant, so the fruit of gentleness may mature in us.