Clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, be-cause, “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.”
—1 Peter 5:5
As Peter gives final instructions at the close of his letter, he addresses both old and young, leaders and followers, shepherds and sheep. Leaders should lead out of generosity and not for gain, he warns, because the flock belongs to God. Followers should follow with a teachable spirit. All should wear humility visibly, as if it were clothing. Humility should be like a uniform that God’s people wear.
Humility starts with an acknowledgment of our complete dependence on God. When the Heidelberg Catechism asks, “What is your only comfort in life and in death?” the answer shows our dependence: “I am not my own, but belong—body and soul, in life and in death—to my faithful Savior, Jesus Christ.” We rely completely on Jesus for our salvation and our very existence. What a relief that it does not depend on our own strength!
That humility should shape how we treat one another. We all belong to God, so we have neither an authority of our own nor a right to profit from other people.
That same ancient catechism draws out the implications of our dependence: “Because I belong to him, Christ, by his Holy Spirit, assures me of eternal life and makes me wholeheartedly willing and ready from now on to live for him.”
May we in humility serve God by serving one another!
Lord, make us people who acknowledge our dependence on you. Grant us humble hearts to serve. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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