Clothed With Humility
“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.’ 6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, 7 casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” I Peter 5:5-7
Humility needs to be a dominant quality in the character of a Christian. In fact, we are to be “clothed with humility.” Think about what it means to wear humility. While clothing is superficial by nature, the idea of being “clothed with humility” goes straight to a person’s heart. At your very core, you must have the attitude that you are not greater or higher than anybody else.
A person who wears humility will have no problem submitting to others. If you remember, I Peter 5:1-4 tells us about shepherds in the Lord’s church. It is a blessing to belong to a local church under the oversight of scripturally appointed elders. Every individual in the flock must of course submit to the oversight of the shepherds. Verse 5 takes this idea a bit further. The New American Standard Bible renders it this way, “all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another,” (I Peter 5:5). True humility is demonstrated not just to the elders, but towards everyone.
Why is humility such a big deal? As I Peter 5:5 ends, “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” There are two choices presented to us, each with a direct consequence.” Proud or humble. Against God or with God. God stands against you when you are led by pride, act selfishly, and put yourself first. The proud are in opposition to God.
Now pause and consider what else verse 5 tells us: the proud do not receive God’s grace! God’s grace is reserved for the humble. It is the humble who allow God to lift them up and strengthen them. I Peter 5:6-7 tells you how to humble yourself “under the mighty hand of God,” and that is by “casting all your care upon Him.” You are to give everything to God. God “cares for you,” (I Peter 5:7). That is amazing! Because He cares for you, He wants you to put all of your cares in His hands. Philippians 4:6 says “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.” This is how you humble yourself before God.
As Peter continues, we are warned that the devil is real and active, (I Peter 5:8). It is because of Satan that we experience suffering in this world, (I Peter 5:9). Peter warns about suffering as a Christian multiple times earlier in this letter, (I Peter 2:20; 3:14, 17; 4:12-16), and there is a need for him to return to the topic of suffering here at the end. Whatever you suffer for your faith, God will give you the strength to get through it if you continue to trust in Him (I Peter 5:10). You suffer to His glory, (I Peter 5:11). If you are going to resist the devil, you need to do so with clear eyes and a clear purpose. Recall how Peter began his letter:
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ,” I Peter 1:3-7
Remember the God you serve. Remember the promises He has made to you. Remember to serve Him while “clothed with humility.”