Jesus shows us that meekness is not a mere contemplative virtue; it is maintaining peace and patience in the midst of pelting provocations. In II Corinthians Paul realizes that the meek and gentle approach can easily appear as weakness to those unfamiliar with Jesus' example, so he calls it "the meekness . . . of Christ." True meekness is always measured by Christ's meekness. His humility, patience, and total submission of His own will to the will of the Father exemplifies meekness.
Martin G. Collins
Godly meekness cannot be divorced from its association with gentleness. However, this gentleness is not usually seen in the situations where the Bible's writers use meekness. Here, meekness appears with gentleness, as though a similarity exists alongside a specific difference.
The reason for this is that Paul is dealing with conflict. In II Corinthians 10, Paul begins a defense of his apostolic authority, showing that he had a right to regard himself as sent from God. He begins his argument by appealing to the gentleness and meekness of Christ to vindicate his own evenhanded approach, entreating them not to give him occasion to display the boldness and severity that he could also use. He had no wish to be so bold and severe in his discipline of them. The contrast between meekness and severity shows starkly here. Meekness is a specific virtue, tool, way or fruit that is excellent in dealing with conflict or potential conflict within relationships.
Some, who had invaded the congregation and claimed to be apostles, accused Paul of being courageous and bold when writing letters from a distance, but timid and weak-kneed when personally present. They were, in effect, accusing him of being all bark and no bite. They had badly misjudged him through a combination of his gentle and reasoned approach when founding the congregation and, apparently, what they considered his weak physical appearance and plain, uncultured speaking. But Paul, though he may have appeared weak to them, was in reality meek, not weak. He was prepared to fight this poisonous, destructive evil within the congregation with all his spiritual power—which was, as the Bible shows, considerable.
Paul did not seek to show himself to the congregation as a flamboyant, charismatic personality. He was not there to showcase himself. He and his presentation were not the centerpiece and spiritual strength of the church. The Father, Jesus Christ, and the gospel of the Kingdom were Paul's focus, and he wanted the people to focus their lives there as well. Thus, he presented them in the manner he did.
He is a sterling example of a truly meek Christian. The meek person has ceased to think or care about himself. His pride and self-will have been crucified. He does not measure the importance of events by their relation to his personal comfort or what he will gain from them. He sees everything from God's perspective, seeking only to serve His purpose in the situations life imposes.
John W. Ritenbaugh
The Fruit of the Spirit: Meekness
Now I am going to appeal to you personally, by the gentleness and kindness of Christ Himself. Yes, I, Paul, the one who is "humble enough in our presence, but outspoken when away from us," am begging you to make it unnecessary for me to be outspoken and stern in your presence. For I am afraid otherwise that I shall have to do some plain speaking to those of you who will persist in reckoning that our activities are on the purely human level. (Phillips)
John W. Ritenbaugh
Endure as a Good Soldier
Other Forerunner Commentary entries containing 2 Corinthians 10:1: