“Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time.” – 1 Peter 5:6
Confession time. I (Scott) am not known for my humility. Anyone who knows me well would probably say that pride and arrogance are my besetting sins. Learning to regard others as more important than myself has been an on-going work of grace most of my adult life.
If you’re like me, humbling yourself at times can be humiliating. It may mean admitting you are wrong. It is rather humbling to admit fault. On the contrary, it can be a demonstration of your and my growth in grace as we humble ourselves and admit we are wrong.
Humbling yourself may mean turning the other cheek. It may mean letting someone else take the credit. Everything within us resists humbling ourselves. We reason, “What if I do and the other person doesn’t reciprocate?” Humble yourself anyway.
In life, it appears humiliation precedes exaltation. Christ underwent public humiliation before being exalted by God (Philippians 2:5-11). Peter challenges us to do the same, to humble ourselves and then trust God with the exaltation at the proper time.
Be careful of the desire to exalt yourself. That desire is within each of us. We long for others to see the gifts, the skills and the abilities we bring to the table. In addition, we long for affirmation, approval of others and the praise of man. As a result, we must resist the temptation of calling attention to ourselves through personal exaltation. The writer of Proverbs put it this way, “Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; a stranger and not your own lips (Proverbs 27:2).”
- When is it hardest for you to humble yourself?
- What fear comes into play as you humble yourself?
- If you’re tempted to exalt yourself, why do you think that’s so? What are you hungering for?