Blessed Are the Gentle: A Walk of Submission

Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth. Matthew 5:5

Every time I read these words I remember the first time I read the definition. It is actually the first word study that really stuck with me. I was at Boot Camp studying the Sermon on the Mount.  I had my own view of what I thought it meant to be gentle. In my mind, a gentle person was a weak push over that people stepped all over. At Boot Camp, someone gave me a piece of paper with the Greek definition of gentle. This piece of paper has been tucked away in my Inductive Study Bible ever sense. I want to pull out the definition today and share it with you:

It refers to the quality of being mild or gentle. This word was used to describe a tame animal or controlled power. Picture a highly spirited trained horse. This horse is anything but weak, but its speed and power are under the complete control of its master. In the same way, the believer who is meek lives in submission to God. This submission is based on humility, which does not come to us naturally but as a result of the Holy Spirit’s work in our lives.

Meekness begins with our relationship with God. We recognize His sovereignty over us and respond with humble obedience. Meekness causes us to accept God’s dealings with us as good and wise. It keeps us from complaining or resisting His work in our lives because we trust in His wisdom and goodness.

Living in submission to God’s will leads us in turn, to be meek in our dealings with other persons. Meekness displays itself toward others as gentleness, consideration, and courtesy. Meekness leads us to be kind in the face of insult, rejecting the opportunity to retaliate even when it is within our power to do so.”

Even now, these words ring true in my own life. Right now, I am struggling. The past week has been hard. I have often wondered God, why are you allowing this in my life? God what did I do? God, that person, they really hurt me. God my heart aches. And as I come back to this definition I recognize I am resisting God’s dealings with me as good and wise. I doubt what He is allowing in my life, like He isn’t doing a very good job of being God.

And then I must wonder, how am I responding to those that I feel attacked by and insulted by? What is my response to them? And my heart breaks, because I know I desire retaliation instead of gentleness, consideration, or courtesy. I do not desire to be kind or even pray for those people. All I want is to right the wrong I feel owed to me.

Welcome to my ugly heart. I know I must stop and repent, and recognize that I have nothing. I must remember I am nothing without God and I desperately need Him every day. I must mourn over my sin in a way that brings true repentance (heart change that brings outward change). I must realize I am no better than those that hurt me.

And here I sit, broken, beaten up, yet full of hope. I have hope in God alone. I know God reigns and rules. God is above all and He is working things out for good. I have no doubt that God is using this to purify my heart and make me more like Him. I know God is calling me again to surrender my heart, my desire, my wishes and walk submitted to Him. He is asking me to trust Him to be who He is. God is again reminding me that gentleness is not about being weak. It means seeking His will in my life above my own desires.

I am grateful that God did not leave me in my ugly heart, instead He encouraged me through Psalm 118:5-9. I want to leave you with the words of the Psalmist and I pray it encourages you to walk in gentleness.

From my distress I called upon the Lord; The Lord answered me and set me in a large place. The Lord is for me; I will not fear; what can man do to me? The Lord is for me among those who help me; therefore I will look with satisfaction on those who hate me. It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man. It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes.


Ashlee is a native New Mexican. She is the wife of a College Minister, a student ministry leader, and has been involved with Transform Student Ministries for 14 years. She seeks to be a disciple of God and His Word as well as a disciple-maker. She is striving to walk in a manner worthy of the Gospel and to seek the favor of God not men.

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One Response


I like the definition of the word gentle that you used as controlled power. How often Jesus could have used His power, and rightfully so, but chose instead to submit to the Fathers will. Matt. 26:53 is a good example of not taking things into your own hands and reacting to a given situation. When we finally get the truth that nothing can come our way that our Father will not use to conform us to the image of our blessed Savior, then and only then will we as believers in the resurrected Christ, have peace. Thank you dear daughter for such a well written and timely message.


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