Text: 1 Peter 5:1-11, Mark 10:43-44
If anyone had a valid reason to assume a leadership position (and have others unwaveringly accept it), it was Peter. Disciple and beloved friend of Jesus, he witnessed Jesus’ death and resurrection, preached at the Pentecost, and was a stronghold of the Church.
When Peter writes to the elders of the churches however, he identifies himself with them, “As a fellow elder, I appeal to you” and his words are encouraging; strong but kind. Peter has a great understanding of human nature and knows how quickly a role of leadership can lead someone, and the ones that follow them, down a road of destruction.
As you read this chapter, you may wonder if it applies to you. I can’t think of a life situation where it wouldn’t. The obvious would be a defined leadership role; pastor, politician, etc. However, this applies to each of us in different ways. Sunday school teacher. PTA president. Mother. Friend. Sibling. Shift Manager. Boss. Caretaker.
The list could go on and on.
Each of us has people in our lives whom we are assigned to lead, even temporarily. Sometimes it’s directly in Christian work. Many times it’s not. Either way, Peter’s words still apply: “…lead them by your own good example.” We are to show them Christ. “…Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all.” (Mark 10:43, 44) With humility for the gift of serving them.
When it’s our turn to be under the leadership of another, “God opposes the proud, but favors the humble.” Never are we at a point in our lives where we no longer need guidance and help. Allowing someone to have godly authority over you is just as hard as humbling yourself in a leadership position. But it reaps great rewards in your life and theirs.
The gift of humility isn’t one that’s often recognized, yet it carries with it such a beautiful part of life. Ask God to make your spirit one of true humility with both so that you are able to bless and be blessed.