“Clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.’ Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.” –I Peter 5:5-6
When you think of the apostle Peter, you do not often think of humility. Brazen, outspoken Peter often talked out of turn and acted on impulse. This rough, tough fisherman spoke without thinking and often ended up embarrassing himself along with the rest of the disciples. What did he know of humility?
When Peter penned these verses about humility in his first epistle, I believe he drew his words from a vivid, clear memory of his Lord. He probably recalled the picture of Jesus in the Upper Room the night he was betrayed. Peter no doubt remembered the Lord’s wrapping the towel around His waist, stooping beside a wash basin, and gently wiping the feet of each disciple. Peter was the one who protested, but the Lord was demonstrating a lesson in humble service – a lesson that Peter, more than most, needed to learn.
Greek scholars tell me that the phrase “clothe yourself with humility” means to wrap humility around you as you would a towel or a servant’s apron. That’s a fitting picture for all of us who follow the example of our servant Lord.
Christian leaders best demonstrate their leadership when they wrap around them the apron of a servant. To lead others means to wash their feet in humility, looking out for their interests before your own. If you are placed in a position of leadership today – leading your children, co-workers, or friends – let your first act toward them be one of service. Service in humility.
Servant Lord, my heart kneels before You in praise and adoration. I bow before You in reverence and place myself under Your authority. I lower myself beneath Your hand of discipline and give You thanks.
Taken from Diamonds in the Dust. © 1993 by Joni Eareckson Tada. Used by permission. Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49530.