Characteristics of a Meek and Quiet Spirit

Kimberly Wagner adapted this list from Matthew Henry's book A Quest for Meekness and Quietness of Spirit.

Meekness is calm confidence, settled assurance, and rest of the soul. It is the tranquil stillness of a heart that is at rest in Christ. It is the place of peace. Meekness springs from a heart of humility, radiating the fragrance of Christ.

The meek will be at rest in the storms of life (Matt. 11:28–30; Ps. 37:7; Heb. 4:1–11).

The fretful will be fearful in the storms of life (Mark 4:35–41; Jer. 50:6).

The meek will react to circumstances with peaceful trust (Isa. 26:3–4).

The fretful will attempt to manipulate individuals or circumstances (James 4:1–3; Prov. 7:21).

The meek will make life choices based on Scriptural principles (Ps. 119:105).

The fretful will make life choices based on emotions or fleeting passions of the moment (James 3:13–18; Prov. 19:16).

The meek woman’s confidence is in the security of the truths of Scripture and the faithfulness of God (Prov. 3:26, 14:26; Ps. 119:165; Jer. 17:7–8).

The fretful woman’s trust is in her own abilities and power to control others and details (Prov. 12:15, 14:12, 16:25; Jer. 18:12).

Meekness is the silent submission of the soul to the “providence” of God concerning us. ~Matthew Henry

The meek woman finds her worth and value in knowing who she is in Christ (Eph. 1:3–8).

The fretful woman finds her worth and value in her own accomplishments and what others think of her (Ps. 49:11–20; Prov. 11:28, 16:18–19, 29:25).

The meek woman finds her strength of character in Christ (Eph. 5:8–11).

The fretful woman finds her strength of character in her own personality traits (Prov. 28:26).

Meekness restrains the stormy tempest of our emotions and passions by commanding them “peace be still” (Prov. 16:32).

Fretting fuels the stormy tempest by venting passions and emotions (Ps. 37:8; Prov. 14:29–30, 29:11, 22).

Meekness is the strength and courage to battle and overcome our own sinful anger and passions, by holding fast to peace—through trusting in the providence of Almighty God (Rom. 12:18–19; Col. 3:1–17; 1 Peter 4:19).

The fretful woman is too fearful and weak to trust God, but allows her sinful emotions and passions to rule (Prov. 28:25).

The work and office of meekness is to enable us to govern our own anger when at anytime we are provoked, and patiently bear out the anger of others that it may not be a provocation to us. ~Matthew Henry

Meekness is constancy and steady composure in spirit and frame of mind, reflecting the consistent stability of our Lord, who is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Ps. 102:25–27; Eph. 4:13–15; 1 Peter 3:13–16; Heb. 13:8).

The fretful woman is always on a roller-coaster ride of emotions, continually up and down . . . the only thing consistent about her is that you never know what mood to expect (Prov. 21:9, 19, 25:24).

Meekness does not allow the mind to run away with vain imaginations and to dwell on thoughts that inflame volatile emotions and passions (2 Cor. 10:3–5; Phil. 4:8–9).

The rash woman is filled with suspicions, doubts, and assumptions based entirely on emotion, and allows these imaginations to determine the course of action (3 John 9–10).

The meek woman does not avoid or run from controversy, but walks through necessary confrontations under the control of the Holy Spirit (Gal. 6:1–2; Prov. 27:5).

The rash woman enters controversy hastily and recklessly (Prov. 10:19, 13:3, 14:16–17, 29:20).

The meek woman is at peace because she is master over her passions (Prov. 17:27, 25:28, 29:11).

The rash woman is fretful because she is mastered by her passions (Ps. 37:1–8; Rom. 6:16; James 1:14–17).

It is better by silence to yield to our brother, who is, or has been, or may be, our friend, than by angry speaking to yield to the devil, who has been, and is, and ever will be, our sworn enemy. ~Matthew Henry

The meek woman speaks truth in love, the law of kindness is on her lips (Prov. 31:26, 16:24; Eph. 4:1–2, 29).

The rash woman speaks harshly, and is not truly concerned for the listener’s feelings (Prov. 12:18, 16:27; James 3:6–12).

The meek woman patiently waits to hear the whole matter before reacting (Prov. 15:28).

The rash woman reacts emotionally before giving time to pause and consider (Prov. 15:18, 18:13).

The meek woman is not unemotional, but her emotions are ruled by the Spirit of God (Prov. 14:30, 31:25; Gal. 5:22–26; Phil. 4:4–7).

The fretful woman is ruled by circumstances, emotions, and passions (Prov. 29:22; Ps. 37:1–8).

To study the art of quietness is to take pains with ourselves, to work upon our own hearts the principles, rules, and laws of meekness; and to furnish ourselves with such considerations as tend to the quieting of the spirit in the midst of the greatest provocations. ~Matthew Henry

The meek woman does not entertain suspicions or assume the worst concerning others but reacts based on firsthand knowledge (Prov. 18:13, 17).

The rash woman imagines and assumes the worst, then she reacts accordingly (1 Tim. 4:7, 5:13).

The meek woman is not easily offended (Prov. 19:11; Rom. 14:19; 1 Cor. 13:4–7).

The fretful woman is easily offended (Rom. 12:3, 16).

The meek woman forgives quickly (Matt. 5:23–25; Eph. 4:26–27, 31–32).

The fretful woman holds onto offenses and hurts, becoming bitter (Heb. 12:14–15).

Meekness demonstrates gracious restraint. It responds to accusations or criticism with restraint rooted in humility, by recognizing that without God’s grace I am capable of far worse than what I am being accused (1 Peter 3:8–9).

Rashness seeks vengeance. It responds to accusations or criticism with the wrath of a haughty heart (Rom. 12:14–19).

If God should be as angry with me for every provocation as I am with those about me, what would become of me? ~Matthew Henry

The meek woman is still and knows that He is God; therefore she trusts in Him and is at peace (Ps. 46:10; Prov. 18:10, 30:5).

The fretful woman runs through life at a frantic pace, not stopping long enough to sit still and listen to the Master’s voice (Luke 10:38–42).

It is “in the sight of God great price.” It is really a precious grace, for it is so in the sight of God . . . Herein we should every one labor and this we should be ambitious of, as of the greatest honor . . . it is a thing attainable through the Mediator from whom we have received instruction how to walk so as to please him. We must walk with meekness and quietness of spirit, for this is “in the sight of God great price.” Therefore this mark of honor is, in a special measure, put upon the grace of meekness, because it is commonly despised and looked upon with contempt by the children of the world . . . meekness and quietness of spirit is a very excellent grace which we should every one of us put on and be adorned with. ~ Matthew Henry  

© Revive Our Hearts. Written by Kimberly Wagner. Used with permission.





About the Author

Kimberly Wagner

Kimberly Wagner’s passion is Christ, and she desires to ignite women's pursuit of God's glory. She's the author of Fierce Women, and is a frequent guest on the Revive Our Hearts radio program, as well as a regular contributor to the True Woman blog. She enjoys sharing with women and hearing from them about what God is doing in their lives.