Right Attitude: Humility; Right Action: Submission
- Those who are younger must respect, honor, and submit to the elders. Remember that the elders are called to be shepherds of God's flock (assignment by God). How can they effectively lead us if we are not submitting to them? "Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you." (Hebrews 13:17)
- All of us should not only submit ourselves to our elders but also to one another. "Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ." (Ephesians 5:21) Humility is the key! We are to clothe ourselves with humility toward one another. What we clothe ourselves with distinguishes us from the world. We should be known as servants of Christ, serving one another humbly. Imitate Christ. "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset (attitude) as Christ Jesus." (Philippians 2:3-5)
"Humility is the fear of the Lord; its wages are riches and honor and life." (Proverbs 22:4) A humble person realizes that all that he/she has comes from God and gives God all the glory for all he/she does. "Oh, beware do not seek to be something! Let me be nothing, and Christ be all in all." (John Wesley)
True humility is about self-denial. To put others above ourselves is contrary to our human nature and can only be accomplished by the power of the indwelling Spirit in us. "Consider the rights of others before your own feelings, and the feelings of others before your own rights." (John R. Wooden) "Humility does not mean thinking less of yourself than of other people, nor does it mean having a low opinion of your own gifts. It means freedom from thinking about yourself at all." (William Temple) "It is not a weak man’s surrender, but a strong man’s rejection of selfishness and determination to be actively concerned with the needs and interests of others." (Richards) "It is in seeing others as persons of great worth because they are loved by God and in seeing ourselves as their servants that we find the fulfilling lifestyle of humility." (Larry Richards)
Humility means being willing to selflessly do any task God has given us. Humility means recognizing that we are not infallible. In other words, be teachable no matter how old we are or how many years we have been Christians for.
- Peter was quoting Proverbs 3:34, "He mocks proud mockers but shows favor to the humble and oppressed." God hates pride and opposes/resists the proud. It is a dreadful thing to be opposed and resisted by God. "The word “resisteth” (or opposes) in the Greek (antitasso) is a military term, used of an army drawn up for battle. Pride calls out God’s armies. God sets Himself in array against the proud person." (Kenneth Wuest) Yikes, this truth alone should be enough to cause us to stay away as far as possible from the sin of pride! But God gives extra grace (favor) to those who are humble in heart & mind and have a contrite spirit. "We are needy, helpless, undeserving, hell-deserving creatures, and if we are not humble we ought to be. Let us humble ourselves because of our sins against humility, and then the LORD will give us to taste of His favor.It is grace which makes us humble, and grace which finds in this humility an opportunity for pouring in more grace." (Charles Spurgeon)
- Test of true humility:
"First, the test of precedence:
'Do you feel badly when others are honored, because they outshine you?'
Second, the test of sincerity:
'All too often, people say things about themselves to sound humble, when they really are not.'
Third, the test of criticism:
'Do you react unfavorably when someone points out your shortcomings?'
If you gave yourself a perfect score on this test, you failed the test of humility." (Richard DeHaan)