"Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth."
What does the word meek mean anyway? Some people have defined it as "strength under pressure," and others have defined it as "weakness." So what is meekness? and why did the translators use this English word when translating the original Greek? First we should look at the Greek rendering of the word. Strong's Concordance defines it the following way:
πραΰς- praÿs - mildness of disposition, gentleness of spirit, meekness
Now, let's look into the English rendering of the word meek.
Webster defines it the following way:
Meek - Mild of temper; soft; gentle; not easily provoked or irritated; yielding; given to forbearance under injuries.
I suppose in some ways you might say that someone who is meek has strength in the sense that they are able to exercise self control under pressure. That being said, not every Christian is consistent in this area. I would submit that those more mature in the faith display this the best. Our Savior was perfect in this. Those who are meek may appear weak to one who is observing them if they do not appear to be assertive at all. However, don't forget the famous text at the end of Jesus famous Sermon on the Mount. This came from our Lord who was the perfect example of meekness:
"And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine: For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes." Matthew 7:28-29
But is the meek person one who lack assertiveness? According to this text I don't think we can say that. Webster goes on to say the following concerning the word meek:
Meek - Appropriately, humble, in an evangelical sense; submissive to the divine will; not proud, self-sufficient or refractory; not peevish and apt to complain of divine dispensations. Christ says, 'Learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest to your souls.' Matthew 11:29.
So we can say that a meek person isn't "timid," but rather strong and assertive while being humble and of mild temperament. While the professing believer in Jesus doesn't display the perfect balance of the Savior's character in this life, the Savior's Spirit dwells with him or her, and is seeking to bring the person's whole being under the influence and authority of the King while they do not lose their individuality. It is quite a remarkable concept. May God grant us the grace to be meek and not timid, while at the same time able to exert authority without being a tyrant.