Augustine said, “It was pride that changed angels into devils; it is humility that makes men as angels.” Perhaps he penned this after reading 1 Peter 5. In the final portion of his letter, Peter reaches out to the elders and then to those under their care. Our passage today picks up in verse five of chapter five as he exhorts believers, most likely the majority who were younger, to submit themselves to their elders.
Specifically, Peter calls younger believers to clothe themselves with humility toward one another. Perhaps as Peter is writing these words, he is reminded of Jesus’ example at the Last Supper (John 13). Typically, it was the servant who was supposed to wash the feet of the guests, but instead, Jesus clothed Himself in this manner, tying a towel around His waist.
Peter also refers to Proverbs 3:34 as a reminder to his primarily Jewish readers that “God opposes the proud, but shows favor to the humble” (v. 5). Just as pride broke the relationship between God and Satan, as well as between God and humanity, it can break relationships between people. He reiterates in verse 6 for believers to humble themselves. Peter realized that humility is a sacrifice and may cause anxiety and stress. The act of thinking about and giving oneself to one another in humility can be costly. But God’s hand is mighty. He is more than able to lift us up at just the right time (v. 6). All our anxieties and concerns can be put on Him because He cares. So, as we care and serve others in humility, we need to be reminded that God cares and loves us more than we will ever know.
>> It is sometimes difficult to think about how to be humble, but we all know what it means to act in pride, putting ourselves and our own desires above others. Today, make it your prayer to act in humility and not in pride, following the example of Jesus.
Father, aid us in pursuing the humility Peter describes. Help us trust You enough to see others as more important than ourselves. You will take care of us even as we care for others.