This is one of my favorite aspects of the fruit of the Spirit. One of the reasons I like it so much is that the word, praotes in the Greek, “gentleness,” also translated “meekness,” is very much misunderstood in this day and age, and the real meaning is so rich. We have such a pansy idea of what “meek” is; notice that it is often paired together “meek and mild.”
We all tend to think of the verse, “the meek shall inherit the earth,” and forget that Jesus Himself was described as “meek.” Well… do you find Jesus weak or mild, or someone that was a pushover? He is God. So, how can Jesus be “meek” and also be God? Of course it is because we are not thinking of the right definition.
What does it mean to “meek” or gentle a horse? Does that mean that we take all the strength and power away from it? Of course not. Meekness is controlled power. When a horse takes a bit and a rider, and the two work as one, that is meekness. Horses are incredibly powerful, and as their power is directed by a rider, they gain purpose and are able to grow stronger and do so much more than a wild horse.
When a believer is meek, we are powerful and directed by God Himself. When we are gentled, we can serve God in tandem with His wishes. The flipside of this, is that it takes a good horseman to properly train and utilize the power of a horse. We have the best trainer possible; the Holy Spirit. If we yield to Him, He shall make us useful to God in purpose and direction. The great thing is, being an aspect of the fruit of the Spirit, it takes no “effort” on our part, the Spirit produces gentleness in us.
There are war horses, and plow horses… show horses, and jumpers. Each kind is trained differently and each has their role to play. None of them are weak. In humans, being meek is not being a door mat, quite the opposite. Being meek is being assured of one’s strength, and allowing that strength to be shaped to serve God.