By Brooke Holt
“Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility towards one another, for God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:5-7
In my training session this morning, my trainer spoke of her teenage daughter’s resistance to authority. While not in outright rebellion against her parents or teachers, this young girl holds to an underlying assumption, that though young, she knows better than these adults. The apostle Peter addresses this assumption: “Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility towards one another, for God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble” (1 Peter 5:5). Peter wrote these words specifically to the younger generation in reference to their elders and leaders, but his words apply to every single one of us today.
Let’s face it, humility comes naturally to no one! Thus, Peter uses the terminology of clothing oneself in humility. Each of us chooses daily what to put on – pride or humility. This teenage girl's attitude exemplifies pride. Though young and dependent upon her parents, she thinks she knows more about the world and the best ways in which to live within this world. In her naivete, she seeks to be her own authority.
On the flipside, her parents are godly people who have walked through their adolescent years and beyond. They have made their mistakes, learned from them, and understand the risks and challenges of life in this world. Thus, they look to the Lord for guidance as they submit their lives to his authority. Amazingly, one’s own mistakes and pain can lead to such humility and submission.
The Lord knows our sinful tendencies and controlling natures, so he has Peter say yet again: “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God” (1 Peter 5:6). Even adults struggle with humility and authority. Therefore, Peter reminds us that this act of humbling oneself is under God – the omniscient and sovereign one. The mighty hand of God is there over us and upholding us (see Psalm 63:8 and Isaiah 41:10). In humbling oneself to him, one finds perfect sustenance, wisdom, and power.
Not only perfect in power and knowledge, the Lord also perfectly cares for his children. Read these tender words again: “casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7). If the teenage daughter mentioned above could truly grasp how great her parents love and care for her are as well as how great the dangers of this world are, she would more readily entrust herself to their care.
May you take time today to grasp the breadth and length and height and depth of Christ’s love for you (see Ephesians 3:17-18).
Can the same be said for you today? If you could truly grasp how much God loves you, how he cares for you, and that he knows the best way for you to live – could you then fully entrust yourself to him? Could you humble yourself, bowing before him, and resting in the mighty hands that are over you and under you? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
Follow the ancient way of the Psalms and find the life God has for you. A model for vibrant worship, the Psalms provide practical wisdom to traverse the circuitous path of life with trust and hope. Pilgrim’s Path: A Study of the Psalms traces our spiritual walk with God—from discovery and delight, through doubt and disappointment, into joyful confidence. Whether used for individual or group study, Pilgrim’s Path is for everyone who seeks to know and love God more and find life in him.
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