Christian Men Spiritual Growth and Christian Living

4 Ways Men of God Can Master Meekness

  • Joel Ryan Crosswalk.com Contributing Writer
4 Ways Men of God Can Master Meekness

The role of men in society, the home, and the church is constantly evolving. Many attributes of what we once considered traditional masculinity have been called into question in recent years.

In the midst of the MeToo movement, amongst others, some of these questions are valid. But as the world continues to challenge and even redefine masculinity for our boys and young men, the question we should ultimately be asking is: what does godly, biblical masculinity really look like?

Beyond age, marital status, geography, or work, what does it mean to be a man of God?

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How can godly masculinity be taught, or better yet, modeled for our young men in the church and world today?

How can godly masculinity be taught, or better yet, modeled for our young men in the church and world today?

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said, “blessed are the meek, for they shall inherent the earth” (Matthew 5:5).Those are powerful words, often misunderstood and neglected by the church. But what do they actually mean?

Meekness is defined in the dictionary as, “quiet, gentle, and easily imposed upon; submissive.”

As a young man who had grown up in the church, this is where I encountered a bit of spiritual crisis. Nothing about this definition seemed to align with the image of the man of God I had been given.

When we look at Scripture, however, particularly the life of Jesus, we discover just how much power exists in the heart of the meek. To quote Greg Laurie, “meekness is not weakness.”

This is especially true when we choose to embrace a godly, biblical perspective on meekness, particularly for the man of God committed to becoming more like Him.  Here are 4 ways men of God can master meekness in their daily lives:

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1. Know When to Speak and When to Listen

1. Know When to Speak and When to Listen

Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes that there is an appointed time for everything, “a time to be silent and a time to speak” (Ecclesiastes 3:7).

Men who clothe themselves in meekness choose their words carefully. They are intentional and don’t just talk to be heard. When God inspires them to speak, they speak with boldness, but they also know when to listen and when to wait for instruction.

The meek don’t pretend to know everything, a common pitfall for many men. They are open to correction and willing to learn from those around them, both young and old, male and female.  

There is enormous power in stillness and silence. David knew this better than anyone. In his quiet times with the Lord, he poured out his heart, but he was humble enough to know when to be quiet and allow God to reveal His.

David wasn’t a man after God’s own heart just because he killed Goliath. He developed the courage of the warrior by waiting for the gentle whisper of the Lord (1 Kings 19:12).

To master meekness, you must learn to be still and silent. This applies to your prayer life but also the way you communicate with others.

Never forget that listening is communicating. When you stop and listen, you communicate that you value the other person’s perspective, heart, and time. You communicate that you value them as people.

Learning to listen invites someone into the conversation. Ask yourself: are you inviting people in or boxing them out with how much you speak?

The same can be asked of your prayer life. Are you inviting God to speak or talking over Him?

Those with knowledge know what to say. It is the wise who know not only what to say but when to say it and when not to.

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2. Become Gentle in Spirit

2. Become Gentle in Spirit

I always laugh when I read the story of James and John asking Jesus if they could call down fire on the Samaritans. In Luke’s gospel, Jesus naturally rebuked them, saying, “you do not know what kind of spirit you are of; for the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them” (Luke 9:54-55).

There’s a reason why Jesus nicknamed these two irascible bash brothers the Sons of Thunder (Mark 3:17). It wasn’t a badge of approval. He created the nickname to remind James and John of their aggressive and impulsive nature which He was working to transform.

  • Impulsive.
  • Aggressive.
  • Stubborn.
  • Prideful.
  • Quarrelsome.
  • Short-tempered.
  • Rash.  

These were all qualities found in the Twelve that Jesus overcame. These are qualities Jesus is still overcoming in the hearts of men today.

What nickname would Christ give you to remind you of the man He is seeking to transform?

Many in Israel, particularly the zealots, were convinced the Messiah would reclaim Israel from the Romans. They were prepared for a violent revolution. What they got was a revolution of the heart. 

Jesus challenged His followers to take on His yoke and learn from Him, “for I am gentle and humble in heart,” He said (Matthew 11:29). Paul later wrote to the Ephesians, “be completely humble and gentle: be patient, bearing with one another in love” (Ephesians 4:2).

Gentleness is evident in how we interact with others (Philippians 4:5), and it can only be shaped by the Spirit at work within us. As Jesus said, “for the mouth speaks what the heart is full of” (Luke 6:45). What kind of spiritual fruit do you bear? What kind of soil is being tilled in your heart?

  • Are you quick to forgive or easily offended?
  • Are you patient with others or short-tempered and cross?
  • Do you promote peace or stir up anger and tension?
  • Is your ultimate goal to restore and rebuild others or seek retribution?

“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger” (Proverbs 15:1). Remember that Christ called you to speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15). He didn’t call you to prove others wrong or win at all costs.

It takes strength to forgive and courage to love. The soft-spoken and gentle man of God is not weak.

Tenderness is as masculine as tenacity.

Remember, David was as much a giant-slayer as he was a harp-player. Both are attributes of the man after God’s own heart.

Our God is great and powerful, and His power is evident in both the strength of the lion and gentleness of the lamb (Jeremiah 11:19).

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3. Develop a Kingdom Perspective

3. Develop a Kingdom Perspective

As the younger brother of a brash, outspoken guy like Peter, Andrew was probably overlooked a lot in life. A sibling rivalry would have been normal for these two. We could even choose to see Andrew as someone who was bitter at his older brother for always stealing the spotlight.

Instead, what we read is that Andrew immediately went home to share the good news with his older brother (John 1:41). He wasn’t selfish. He was eager to bring individuals to Christ and never took credit for their transformation.

God had already planted a kingdom perspective in Andrew’s heart. Andrew understood what really mattered and saw the world (and others) through the lens of eternity. Sadly, this was a perspective Peter and the Sons of Thunder often lacked.

The meek seek the big picture.

  • They are quick to forgive because they remember how quickly they were forgiven.
  • They are gracious and giving.
  • They remember where they came from and have hope in where God is taking them.
  • They are servants by nature.
  • They often defer credit.

It’s easy to battle with the people around us. As men, we are competitive by nature. We like to fight and like it better when we win, particularly against other men. This isn’t inherently bad. But when it comes to the spirit, the meek know that the real battle is not against people but against spiritual forces and the kingdom of darkness (Ephesians 6:12).

To become meek, you must become a warrior who wages war in the Spirit through prayer. There is nothing passive about the prayer of a righteous man. It is both powerful and effective (James 5:16).

Daniel wasn’t a warrior in the traditional sense, but he did fight a spiritual battle every single day from his knees. He listened as much as He petitioned. His prayer life was the source of his strength.

Jesus also placed a premium on prayer as He woke up every morning before sunrise to spend time with the Father and gather strength (Mark 1:35).

In your strength, how inclined are you to defer to God? In your power, how willing are you to get on your knees? This leads us to the final attribute of the meek.

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4. Embrace Submission and Surrender

4. Embrace Submission and Surrender

Surrender is traditionally a sign of defeat. As men, it’s difficult to admit defeat. We hate having to admit when we’re wrong. We hate showing we’re hurt. But for the believer, surrender is essential for Christ to truly become Lord of your life.

In surrender, you must admit defeat. You acknowledge your weaknesses. You confess that you are broken and sinful. You give God full control and grant Him permission to captain the ship. 

In surrender, you also allow God to impose His will over yours. You learn to submit.

I’ll be honest. I don’t like being pushed around or told what to do. I hated it when my older sister did this when we were kids. I get agitated when my wife starts making decisions for us now. But a meek man will embrace submission and allow God to ultimately call the shots. He will surrender His will and submit fully to the plans of God, even plans he doesn’t like.

In doing so, a meek and submissive man will become a servant and learn how to better care for his wife, his family, his church, his pastor, his community, and the world around him (Matthew 20:28).

The world needs men who are bold enough to be meek.“Meekness is not weakness.” A man who listens, is gentle, has a kingdom perspective and is willing to fully submit his life to God will be a difference maker in this world and the kingdom to come.

Allow the Lord to transform your heart and develop meekness in you today. You will not be disappointed with your spiritual inheritance.


Joel Ryan is an LA-based children’s and young adult author who teaches writing at Life Pacific University. As a former youth pastor, he has a heart for young adults and is passionate about engaging youth through literature, film, and theater. His blog, Perspectives Off the Page, discusses the spiritual and creative life through the lens of storytelling and narrative.

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