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vs. Anger
Yielding my personal rights and expectations to God

Key Verse

“My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him.”
Psalm 62:5

The operational definition of meekness is “yielding my personal rights and expectations to God.” An expectation is a strong assumption that a certain desire will be fulfilled. If an expectation is not met, a person may be disappointed. A right is a privilege or position that is truly yours to claim. Everyone has been given specific rights by their Creator. Sometimes people mistakenly assume something to be a right when it is not. For example, God gives the right to life and to worship Him. However, a person may not be entitled to have comforts or do whatever he wants. Often conflicts occur because people sense that their real or perceived rights are being threatened, and they try to guard them. Trusting God as his Protector and Father, a Christian who exhibits meekness willingly releases any claim to his rights and expectations. He knows God will do what is good. (See Romans 8:28–29.)

A trained horse yields its power to its owner. Similarly, meekness is a person’s strength yielded to God’s will.
Like a raging forest fire, a person’s anger can render great and costly destruction.

The opposite of meekness is anger. When a person perceives that his rights might be taken away, he may react to defend them. Although there is a proper time to respectfully take a stand for God’s ways, most conflicts usually revolve around selfish desires and could be averted by an attitude of meekness. Instead of confessing anger, people often excuse it as frustration, irritation, or annoyance. Angrily demanding our rights and expectations becomes a heavy burden (Proverbs 27:3), which leads to bitterness. Shouting, bullying, and violence may also result. While God is merciful and slow to anger, His wrath is just and righteous. However, our wrath does not produce good results (James 1:20). God says to put away our anger and wrath. (See Colossians 3:8, Romans 12:19.) Anger is destructive, both to oneself and to others. God does not mean for us to use anger as a weapon! Instead, what effective weapons has He given to believers? (See II Corinthians 10:3–6, Ephesians 6:17–18.)

Evaluation Questions

  • Do I recognize my anger as a signal that I need to yield my rights and expectations to God?
  • In unsettling situations, do I remain peaceful because I trust that God is loving and sovereign?
  • Am I willing to keep quiet and listen so others may be heard?
  • When I am frustrated, do I consider if my goal is to serve myself or to love the other person?
  • Do I regard people as more valuable than my possessions so that I can respond lovingly and kindly, even when my things are disturbed?
  • Am I more concerned about my relationship with God or about winning an argument?
  • When I don’t get my way, do I speak disrespectfully about those in leadership?
  • Am I willing to identify and release the expectations I have of others?
  • Do I regard meekness as strength or weakness?

More About Meekness

“The greatness of man’s power is the measure of his surrender.”
William Booth
Transformation results as we behold the Lord and yield to the Holy Spirit’s work in our lives. “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord” (II Corinthians 3:18). As we see God’s character through testimonies in Scripture, we grow in our understanding and obedience to His Word. Here are ten aspects of Meekness with supporting verses found in God’s Word.

God enables me to:


Be slow to get angry.

“He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.” Proverbs 16:32

Listen more than I speak.

“In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise.” Proverbs 10:19

Put others before myself.

“Let no man seek his own, but every man another’s wealth.” I Corinthians 10:24

Stop arguments by yielding my rights.

“As coals are to burning coals, and wood to fire; so is a contentious man to kindle strife.” Proverbs 26:21 “But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain.” Titus 3:9

Control my reactions.

“He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.” Proverbs 25:28

Remember that He is in control.

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” Jeremiah 29:11

Rely on His strength.

“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.” Ephesians 6:10 “It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect.” Psalm 18:32

Yield my expectations.

“I wait for the Lord, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope. My soul waiteth for the Lord more than they that watch for the morning: I say, more than they that watch for the morning.” Psalm 130:5–6

Quiet my heart.

“Surely I have behaved and quieted myself, as a child that is weaned of his mother: my soul is even as a weaned child.” Psalm 131:2 “Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah.” Psalm 4:4

Use my energy to serve others.

“For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.” Galatians 5:13 “For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more.” I Corinthians 9:19

Meekness in Scripture

Abram Gives Lot First Choice

“And Abram said unto Lot, Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen; for we be brethren. . . . if thou wilt take the left hand, then I will go to the right; or if thou depart to the right hand, then I will go to the left.”
Genesis 13:8–9
Abram was born in a land called Ur of the Chaldeans, which later became known as Babylon. Abram’s forefathers worshipped idols. The one true God appeared to Abram and asked him to leave his home country and go to a new land that God would show him. Believing God, seventy-five-year-old Abram left Ur, along with his wife and his father, and journeyed toward the land of Canaan. They also brought Abram’s nephew Lot with them. At first, the group did not journey all the way to the land that God had promised them. Instead, they stopped and lived in Haran until the death of Abram’s father. Then, in response to God’s call, Abram, his wife, and Lot continued on to Canaan. After settling in Canaan, a terrible famine overtook the land. So, for awhile, Abram moved his household and livestock south to Egypt. In Egypt, both Abram and his adult nephew Lot accumulated great wealth and their herds multiplied. After they left Egypt, what problem would develop because of the two men’s wealth? What could be done to stop the arguments and strife? What rights would Abram yield, and how would he put his nephew’s desires before his own interests?

Revealed in Nature


The strength of a horse under the control of a bridle and bit illustrates a true picture of meekness. A trainer should not break the spirit of a horse but rather harness its power to be usefully employed under the guidance of the master.

For Kids

Biblical Character Illustrated Curriculum

The Biblical Character Illustrated Curriculum uses examples from the lives of men and women in the Bible whose walk with God resulted in good character or whose lack of faith produced poor character. Through this study, children are encouraged to stop arguments, realizing that demonstrating God's love is more important than having their own way.

View the Meekness booklet sample:

Get the complete Meekness booklet with all four lessons & activities:

Free Resources for Meekness

Enjoy these selections from the Biblical Character Illustrated Curriculum that are fun and memorable!

Bible Story Coloring Page
Verse & Definition Word Search
Related Hymn Sheet Music
“Is there a heart o’erbound by sorrow? Is there a life weighed down by care? Come to the cross, each burden bearing. All your anxiety, leave it there.”
E. H. Joy