If you think like country singer Mac Davis that it is “Hard to Be Humble when you are perfect in every way”, that is a good sign that you need this passage of scripture on humility. Your accomplishments, recognitions and achievements can be obstacles to the humility that God desires us to have.
But your achievements and lofty moments don’t mean you can’t be clothed with humility. Think for a moment of the achievements of Peter who calls us to humility. Except for Jesus he is the only one who ever walked on water. He preached the Pentecost sermon, how great is that! Even Peter’s highest achievements paled next to God’s greatness and majesty.
Of course Peter did not lose sight of his failures too. Peter calls us to humility because without it we can never serve Christ the way God desires of us. He warns us because pride is the opposite of humility and it is so easy for us to be deceived by it.
Pride most renders ineffective the Christians who have the most going for them. These Christians attend church and are there on time, give regularly, have respect of others, are honest and help others in need. When they do all this they might get puffed up and proud. Peter calls us down off our high-horse and on our knees before God.
1 Peter 5:5-7
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. 7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
Humility and Submission Vs. 5a
Young men, in the same way be submissive to those who are older
Respecting your elders is more than a cultural custom, it is a biblical responsibility. We need both the wisdom of the older and enthusiasm of the younger. The young men are told to listen to the council of the older. Young men my think they know it all and that is pride, not the humility God seeks. Submission in humility is part of the responsibility for younger.
Humility verses Pride vs. 5b
All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because,
“God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
This is directed to all Christians not just the young. Clothe yourself in all humility. This word for clothe means to tie around. The picture is a servant tying on an apron before serving. It actually brings to mind Jesus wrapping a towel around him to wash the disciple’s feet.
“God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” This is a quote from Proverbs 3:34. How foolish pride is when God opposes the proud and gives grace to the humble.
Nebuchadnezzar the King of Babylon is an example of how God opposes the proud. After he destroyed the temple in Jerusalem he put the articles in his temple. He had an image of gold 90 ft high and required everyone to worship it. He went on the roof of his palace and said, 29 Twelve months later, as the king was walking on the roof of the royal palace of Babylon, 30 he said, “Is not this the great Babylon I have built as the royal residence, by my mighty power and for the glory of my majesty?” Daniel 4:29
He was very proud and very opposed by God. The Lord said “This is what is decreed for you, King Nebuchadnezzar: Your royal authority has been taken from you. 32 You will be driven away from people and will live with the wild animals; you will eat grass like the ox. Seven times will pass by for you until you acknowledge that the Most High is sovereign over all kingdoms on earth and gives them to anyone he wishes.”
God brought down instantly one of the mightiest rulers of all times because of pride. Later God restored Nebuchadnezzar, but you know what he said about God after that.
Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and exalt and glorify the King of heaven, because everything he does is right and all his ways are just. And those who walk in pride he is able to humble. (Daniel 4:37)
Even prestigious and influential ministries have seen their leaders fall. Pride says you preach God’s word but you are above obeying it yourself. Nonsense, God opposes the proud and gives grace to the humble.
You just have to hope these leaders who have fallen have as much discernment as Nebuchadnezzar and realize God opposes the proud. Humility is the only hope of a life that honors God.
Humility Before God vs. 6
Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.
There should be a song, it is not hard to be humble when we fall short of God in every way. Humble yourselves therefore under God’s might hand. A reminder of God’s greatness will instill the humility we must put on.
We need a fresh glimpse of the eternal and a reminder that God is our creator and we are the creation. God seeks humility in his children, but God rewards the humble. Humble yourself under God’s mighty hand and he may lift you up in due time. It is the ultimate Cinderella story.
God took humble and faithful Joseph from the obscure prison and made him prime minister of Egypt when it was the world power. Due time may be when Christ returns. For some of you God may be waiting like he did for Joseph to lift you up from a desperate situation you are in.
I can’t say when, but if you work for the Lord in humility without thought of recognition compensation or anything that might produce pride. God will lift you up in His due time.
Anxiety the Barrier to Humility vs. 7
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
Anxiety is a barrier to humility. There is a connection between humility and anxiety. This is because often anxiety is about me. Who will care for me? Will my needs be met?
The Bible says cast your anxiety on God. Like a saddle on a horse. God has a strong back. Be sure God can handle it. God wants us to unload our anxieties, “throw” them on him. Martha took on the cares of daily living (Luke 10:41. Throw them on God.
The ultimate anxiety is death. What will happen to me when I die? Cast this on God by trusting in Jesus Christ. Let your burdens be lifted.