Therefore Humble Yourselves
As human beings we all have a sense of self entitlement to one degree or another. We value our own opinions quite heavily and sometimes try to assert those opinions over others. Younger folks seem to be more self-righteous than is good for their health, especially teenagers. However, we are called to act in humility towards one another, not being puffed up in pride or selfishness. Take a look at 1 Peter 5:5-7.
5 Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” 6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, 7 casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.
“You who are younger.” Who are we talking about? In the context of this passage we are talking about leadership in the church and specifically the role of elders. Elders are to exercise oversight, be self-controlled, not domineering, and leaders by example. They set a certain tone as others in the church are to look up to them as role models and be taught by them in discipleship. The younger, then, are those younger people in the church. It is easy when you’re young to think you know it all. To think you have it all figured out but I presume as people grow older and wiser, that wisdom comes from realizing that we don’t have it all figured out. Peter knows this and exhorts the younger men to be in subjection to their elders when their natural tendency is to think they have it all together. Just as the elders set the example, the younger folks are to follow the example.
Peter speaking to “all of you” says, “Clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Everyone is to clothe themselves with humility, putting others first. It takes a lot more guts to be patient with others and try to see things from their perspective. It is necessary to do so in order that we may be in unity with one another. When we are proud we make mistakes, we hurt others, and all the time we are blind to our own actions. This is the way of the fool and God opposes those who are proud. Grace is given to the humble. We are going to mess up from time to time but when we do we must humble ourselves submitting to authority and to God and grace is given.
In verse 6 and 7 we get a picture of someone struggling or dealing with angst and oppression. When we are worrisome and anxious we often fall into the trap of pride and do something irrational to try to fix the situation. However we usually end up in that position of opposing God rather than receiving grace. Instead we ought to humble ourselves and submit to God. We wait patiently for Him to work out the details and in our humility, in His timing, He will lift us up. Anxiety and worry are often rooted in fear which causes us to doubt God’s providence in our lives This turns into sin if we allow it to guide our actions and take our focus off Him. Peter says, “casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.” This is a reminder and reassuring statement that Christ has paid the price for your sins and you now stand in a right relationship with God the heavenly father. We need not worry because He cares for us. He has done many wondrous things for our benefit and He won’t stop now.
Remember these things next time you find yourself being anxious, being tempted to do something when it’s not really your place. There is a time and a place for everything and everything that happens in our lives happens for a reason. We can have full confidence in our Lord that He will work all things out for His glory and to our benefit. Therefore humble yourselves and cast your fears upon Him that you may be lifted up in His perfect timing. Peace be with you and do not worry.