Living in Humility

KEY VERSE: “Ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.” —I Peter 5:5


CHRISTIAN HUMILITY IS a fruit of the Holy Spirit, and it means having a sober evaluation of one’s abilities, not thinking too highly or too lowly of ourselves. (Phil. 2:3-5) Pride, the opposite of humility, is characteristic of our society. (Mal. 3:15) The world is not striving to have the mind of Christ, or to become humble as he was (Phil. 3:8), but we are.

The Apostle Peter, exhorts us to “be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.” (vs. 5) We see humility in light of the New Testament as a necessity of the Christian faith. The best example of humility is Jesus, who described himself as “meek and lowly in heart.”—Matt. 11:29

Jesus set the standard of service when he washed the feet of his disciples, declaring, “I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.” (John 13:14,15) Putting on humility, then, implies a readiness to serve. If, like Jesus, we humble ourselves before God, we will be exalted in the future (vs. 6) with “a crown of glory that fadeth not away.” (vs. 4) Like the elders, Peter was exhorting, we should feed the flock “because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve.”—vs. 2, New International Version

Humility includes having faith in the promises of God. Jesus likened pure Christian humility to a child, saying in Matthew 18:4: “Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”

Peter referred to this childlike humility saying, “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God.” (vs. 6) Humility begins with our trust in God. The Apostle Paul said, “God is faithful, who will not permit you to be tried beyond your ability; but with the trial, will also direct the issue, that you may be able to bear it.”—1 Cor. 10:13, Wilson’s Emphatic Diaglott

With this trust in our Heavenly Father to care for us even in our trials, we are invited to cast all our cares upon him, all our anxieties and worries during our lifetime. Our trust should not be passive, but we are expected to make an effort to do some things for ourselves.

Peter said, “Therefore, let even those who are suffering according to the will of God, commit their lives in doing good to a faithful Creator.” (I Pet. 4:19, WED) We are to cast off our anxieties and to walk circumspectly. We must be “sober” (vs. 8), serious, self-controlled, to keep on guard against attacks from all directions. Paul warned the Ephesian elders to be alert against heresy (Acts 20:31), and advised other congregations to “watch” in prayer and thanksgiving (Col. 4:2); and “stand fast” in the faith. (I Cor. 16:13) We are to watch and stand fast because Peter refers to Satan as “a roaring lion” on the prowl trying to “devour” the sons of God.—vs. 8

As long as we exercise faith, the Adversary cannot devour us. Although our persecutions many times cause discouragement, Satan cannot destroy us. Peter tells us, “Whom resist stedfast in the faith” (I Pet. 5:9), and James assures us that if we “resist the Devil, … he will flee from you.”—James 4:7

Pride is a well-known ploy used by Satan to stumble us. We need to come to God in prayer for strength to resist the Adversary.

Dawn Bible Students Association
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