Heavenly Father, enlighten us by your Holy Spirit as we reflect on your words through the apostle Peter in the passage below. Amen
1 Peter 5:5-7 (NIV)
5 In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders. 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.
Humility is the focus of God’s message through Peter for us today. It appears that humility, which is the opposite of pride, is related to both receiving God’s grace and being exalted or lifted up by him. When we are proud, we are cut off from God’s gracious involvement in our lives.
When our son Tim was small, his favorite expression was “I do it myself.” Whenever he was struggling with something beyond his capability, and we offered to help, he would say, “I do it myself.” Invariably the situation led to frustration and tears. There was willing help at hand but in his pride he chose to struggle by himself.
Peter learned a hard lesson about being proud in the Upper Room. When Jesus approached him to wash is feet, he told the Lord, ”No, you shall never wash my feet.” I’m certain that Peter was undone when Jesus said to him, “Unless I wash you, you have no part in me.” (Luke 13:6-10)
Because he cares for us as he cared for Peter, Jesus wants us to lay our pride aside. Rather than doggedly trying to extricate ourselves from the mess that surrounds us each day he desires that we turn everything over to him. God’s grace floods our lives when “under God’s mighty hand” and by the power of his spirit we humble ourselves before him and one another.
When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss
And pour contempt on all my pride.
Isaac Watts 1707
Lord, thank you for enabling us to set our pride aside so that we can embrace a spirit of humility. Thanks you for taking from us the burdens we find too hard to carry and placing them on your shoulders. Amen.