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The Spiritual Chain of Humility

1 Peter 5:5
Young men, in the same way be submissive to those who are older. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility towards one another, because, "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble." (NIV)

In the same way that church leaders must accept the authority of the Lord Jesus (1 Peter 5:2-4), younger men should submit to the leaders. Young and energetic men often feel an urge to steal power from their elders: but that is a fleshly impulse, encouraged by the Evil One. Those who are truly spiritual will want to accept the authority that God has placed over them.
The same applies to everybody in the church; there is no virtue in proud assertions or self-seeking. Those who claim to serve the Servant King should want to serve others in the fellowship; to lift them up and to seek their good. Peter saw the trail of pride over the early churches, threatening to destroy the immature fellowships; and alas it is too common a sight today also. The way of the world is to crush the weak. But the way of the cross is to raise the weak by self-sacrificial service.
The principle extends beyond the church to every area of life: God opposes the proud, wherever! It is true in the workshop and the ship; the hair salon and the airport. God's opposition to arrogance does not stop at the church door. His anger is roused by pride on the building site and in the board room, as well as the home and the hospital. But, by contrast, He pours out His grace on all who humbly accept the authority He has placed over them. Test Him out: change your attitude to authority and see how much blessing and grace He will shower upon you.

Almighty God. Forgive me for my vain self-assertion, and every action that is motivated by pride. Help me to see how offensive this is to You. May I reconsider my attitude at work and home, as well as in the church, so that You will be glorified and that I can be blessed as You pour out Your grace into my life. For Jesus Christ's sake. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams