Saturday, November 9, 2019
1 Peter 5:5b-7
All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” 6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
We think we know so much. We’re out to prove ourselves better than someone else. We want to make ourselves feel good, but often it is at the expense of another person. You tell a story? I want to tell one better. What is this all about? How are we followers of Jesus when we do this?
Peter tells us to be clothed with humility toward one another. Lift up and encourage the other person rather than put him down. We can’t think about the character of Jesus without using the word humility. There’s a wonderful passage in chapter 2 of Philippians where it speaks of humility. Consider others better than yourselves. Let your attitude be like Jesus. He who was with God, in his very nature God, chose to give up the equality of God he deserved in order to be as nothing. In his humanity he became a servant to teach us about servanthood. He was obedient to God’s will, enduring suffering and death on the cross for our sake.
We think of Jesus’ teachings – he once said that if someone hit you on one cheek, turn your other cheek to your attacker. If someone takes your coat, give him your cloak as well. If one compels you to go a mile, go two instead. Jesus criticized his disciples when they were jostling for position in heaven. He taught when going to a dinner, be seated at the lowest place rather than presuming you belong at the highest place. How honored you will be to be elevated by your host, but how embarrassing if your host asks you to move to a lower place!
Our culture values high achievement, and along with that comes a healthy dose of self-confidence, even pride. Cultivating an attitude of humility is a difficult task unless we ask God to help us day by day. Humility begins when we acknowledge that God is in charge and not we ourselves, when we daily ask to follow God’s will in obedience. When we are in a right relationship with God, God helps us maintain healthy relationships with persons in our life.
Gracious God, help me live for you and not for my own self-interests. Remove from me the need to put myself higher than another and squash another down in the process. Remind me that I do not belong to myself alone, but to you. Christ has died for me and has given me a new life, a life of faith centered on you, not me. Let there be no room in this new life for pride that cuts down another person, for this I pray in Christ my savior. Amen.