Dear Student of the Word,
It is Thanksgiving night here in the States, and I had a wonderful day with family. Now it's time to do some work on something for which I am most thankful and that is God's Word! In this installment, we finish Peter's first epistle before we move on to his second. In this fifth study, Peter discussed both leadership values and the suffering that was common to all believers. Here is what I wrote in part three of this seven-part study:
Study Five, Part Three
5 Young men, in the same way be submissive to those who are older. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble." 6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.
5:5 – At this point, Peter addressed those who followed the elders. He directed them to be submissive. But it cannot be one-sided. The leaders must rule as Jesus required and the followers must deal with their ambitions and youthful zeal and submit. What a wonderful community that would be: leaders who lead with the attitude of Jesus and followers who submit like Jesus did to the authorities in His day.
The underlying attitude for effective leaders and followers is humility. The opposite of humility is pride. Pride is detrimental to accomplishing or building anything in the will of God. There is perhaps nothing that activates God’s opposition like pride. If you want God’s grace, then you must employ humility. And if you are commanded to have humility, then it must be within your ability to function in humility.
You must choose to be humble. If you don’t, then you are proud and run the risk that God will then humiliate you. So your choice is between humility and humiliation. Which one would you prefer, if those are the only choices? In case you need more verses on pride and God’s feeling toward it, consider these from Proverbs (you may want to do your own search on the word ‘proud’ while I include those from the word 'pride'):
- To fear the Lord is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech (Proverbs 8:13).
- When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom (Proverbs 11:2).
- Pride only breeds quarrels, but wisdom is found in those who take advice (Proverbs 13:10).
- Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall (Proverbs 16:18).
- The proud and arrogant man — "Mocker" is his name; he behaves with overweening pride (Proverbs 21:24).
- A man's pride brings him low, but a man of lowly spirit gains honor (Proverbs 29:23).
5:6 – Once again you see that humility is a command and a choice. You choose to be or not to be humble. And if you choose the former, the promise is that God will raise you up “in due time.” That means that you release the timetable for your vindication or reward. That is where faith comes in. You focus on God and what He wants and trust that He will focus on your own needs and reputation. How has your attitude been lately? Have you let pride or arrogance creep into your thoughts or behavior? Ask the Lord to show you and then repent—quickly!
As always, I welcome your comments to this week's study. For additional Bible studies, check out my website archive, which contains a complete collection of all my verse-by-verse New Testament studies, along with the unpublished volume of The Faith Files.
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