1 Peter 5:3-7
I’ve been thinking about two simple, declarative statements: Be humble. Lean on God.
Each day this week, we focused on the first of the Seven Deadly Sins. We sought prayerfully to submit the sin of pride—our sin, in all its manifestations—to the light of Holy Scripture. As we conclude, I can’t imagine a more fitting word than these verses from 1 Peter. You and I cannot serve two masters, pride and humility. We make daily choices about which one sits on the throne of our lives, shaping and directing our attitudes and our actions.
Some of these choices are self-evident, and we make them willfully. Others are subtle, embedded in mixed motives. Pride, especially spiritual pride, hides in unexamined places in our minds and hearts. It disguises itself, even cloaking itself in the garb of righteousness that is really self-righteousness. Like the other deadly sins, pride is devious.
As we consider this choice between pride and humility, keep in mind the clear, consistent message of Scripture: God is on the side of the humble. And God doesn’t just give an approving nod or a pat on the back to them, God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.
The writer of 1 Peter offers another insight. Whenever we choose pride, arrogance, self-centeredness, and hypocrisy, we also get the burdensome anxieties that sooner or later emerge from those choices. Blessedly, however, our choices of humility, love, and unselfishness also come with a benefit—the liberating freedom from debilitating anxieties, worries, and fears that rob us of life abundant.
Be humble. Lean on God. And remember that, ultimately, it’s all about grace.
What “clothing” might you need to discard in order to be wrapped in the God-given grace of humility?
God, I have much to learn about your way of humility. Today I take my seat at the feet of Jesus. Help me to be a good student and a faithful disciple. Amen.