Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – January 18, 2020
Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.” 1 Peter 5:5
If I’m brutally honest, most of the time I think that I am right. I’m convinced that my plan is the one that will succeed. I’m confident that I’m the one who was wronged and not the other way around. If I prefer something and someone else doesn’t, their tastes are the problem. Basically, the sooner people start to see things my way, the happier we all will be!
I believe (and hope!) that I’m not alone in this. This is a fundamental reality of the fallen, human condition. We are, as St. Augustine famously said, curved in upon ourselves, predisposed to care for our own wants and needs, and to believe them to be central to our happiness. We therefore view others as obstacles to our joy, impediments to our fulfillment. It is easier, then, to stay as isolated and insulated as possible, relating to others only to the extent they help us to meet our needs and fulfill our desires.
Living in relationship with others is a glorious assault upon our autonomy and pride. Scripture takes it as a given that believers will live in community with one another, that younger people will have elders and elders will serve as mentors. Yet this doesn’t happen by default. No, by default we stay stuck in our pride and inflated sense of self-worth.
The grace of humility requires an intentional step towards vulnerability. Is there anyone in your life to whom you regularly and intentionally submit in humble deference? You and I must seek out elders and actively place ourselves under their spiritual guidance and submission. We will never stumble our way into this way of life. Similarly, if you have walked with the Lord in humility and trust for many years, there are people, young in age or in faith, that need your parental guidance and care. Just as the Lord uses others to heal us of our own pride and self-assuredness, you are invited to be an agent of healing in the life of another!
I have a friend who wears the exact same outfit, top to bottom, every single day of his life. I’ve never seen him wear anything else! As such, these clothes in many ways have come to define him and are a significant part of his identity. When Peter exhorts us to be “clothed with humility,” I think he has something like this in mind.
Humility is not meant to be an optional garment that can easily be taken off or put back on. Once we put it on, it is meant to be the single outfit that we are known for, the only clothing anyone expects us to wear. How is this possible? By remaining connected to others who remind us of our true identity and encourage us to daily discover the grace that is found in dying to our pride and rejoicing in the way of humility.
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience” (Colossians 3:12).
Father, so clothe us in humility that we may be set free from the crippling sickness of pride, through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Do you have a mentor to whom you’re submitted? Are you serving intentionally as a mentor to someone else?
The grace of humility requires an intentional step towards vulnerability.#humble #wisdomhunters #truth #Jesus
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