“Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time.” (1 Peter 5:6)
Humility is a standard Peter sets for leaders. He writes that leaders should lead as examples and not as lords over the flock they shepherd. Humility is a challenging concept. If we think we are humble we are probably not humble. You probably heard of the church that gave their pastor a medal for humility, but had to take it back because he wore it every Sunday.
In Scotland a young seminary graduate was about to give a sermon as candidate for a church that had an elderly pastor about to retire. The pulpit was one of those old elevated ones where you had to climb many steps in order to preach. With a pride that bordered on arrogance the young man climbed up to preach. He had a disaster of a sermon. When he came down in tears the old retiring pastor said to him, “Lad if you had gone up the way you came down, you would have come down the way you went up!”
I Peter 5:6 describes a covenant with God’s part and our part. Our part is to humble ourselves. It is God’s part to exalt us. C. S. Lewis wrote that pride is the mother of all sins. “To live above with the saints we have loved Oh that will be glory. But to live below with those we know that’s another story.” As a veteran pastor I can tell you that when there is a sharp dispute among two disciples a pastor will often find somebody’s pride at the bottom of the dispute.
Humble yourself. That’s your business. Exalting you is God’s business.
Dick Woodward, 16 August 2013