1 Peter: Day

On being a humble leader + follower


Today's Text: 1 Peter 5:1-11, Mark 10:43-44

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.

  • Leader humility is still viewed as a rare personality trait that somewhat mysteriously produces favorable organizational outcomes. It is simply not known what humble leadership looks like in terms of an overall leadership posture and way of being, what behaviors it involves, what personal and situational factors determine the effectiveness of these behaviors, or how these behaviors might influence important work processes and outcomes.

  • mackenzie

    Wow, this hit me square between the eyes today. Especially in terms of motherhood. Sometimes I see motherhood as "must" instead of being willing. Somedays it feels like I just have to discipline, have to clean, have to be "put into" difficult situations – but how would my heart, and actions, change if I was willing? How would my responses change, and how would my vision of my child change? A lot to sift through in my heart after reading this one today!

  • eradical84 (EllenMR)

    Boy, there's a lot packed into a small chapter! But most of all verses 7-9 speak to me about the anxieties we face. That He cares about our fears. But also be alert and self-controlled so that the enemy doesn't detect that weakness or fear because that's just what he is looking for to use to his advantage! Anything he can use to confuse us or shake us, to take us away from God's grace. We are being attacked on all fronts by this roaring,angry lion because he knows his time is short! (Rev.12:12) Be strong Sisters! That we know without a doubt: "He was chosen before the creation of the world , but was revealed in these last times for your sake. Through Him you believe in God, who raised Him from the dead and glorified Him, and so your faith and hope are in God." 1Peter1:20,21
    "To Him be the power for ever and ever. AMEN!!" 1 Peter 5:11
    Praying for His power and strength for all of us, today and every day! :)

  • I was apart of a school Philosophy Club, and in fact started it to open up a window of conversation for people who were looking for meaning in their lives at school. First and foremost, I wanted to bring glory to Christ and perhaps salvation to the others, so being a president, my goal was to honor God in every word I spoke, while living out a life that shows God's love and grace. I tried to love those people for who they were, and I only hope I did a sufficient job!
    Verses 6 and 7 as well as 10 and 11 spoke to me. "Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. 7) Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you." In a time of transition, sacrifice, and different opportunities rising up, it is so encouraging and wonderful to know that God will lift me up in His due time. To read again in verse 10 that Christ is going to restore me after this suffering (I can already feel that He is) is a lovely hope for what God has in store for me.
    Ladies, please pray that I would be guided to follow God's will in what school he wants me to pick for this next year. I only have a week left to choose between two, and it is sort of freaking me out. I just need strong guidance and peace to accompany the decision I make. Thank you, guys!

    • LeahTvt

      Praying, AnnaLee. I pray God grant you wisdom and direction and ultimately then peace with the decision you make. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

  • This devotion today reminds me of a coworker at my job and she was once a mentor to me while I was in orientation but has now assumed a lead position where she no longer even says hi or acknowledges me when we pass in the hallway. It has really frustrated me and as someone that I once looked up to she has become a person that I see as very selfish in her authority position. I am trying to let this go and focus on my task there as work to serve others and be a positive encouragement to my patients and coworkers

  • Oh man, oh man! It's taken me a while to get down to the comment box today. There are so many comments that pull at my heart this morning! So thankful for all of you, friends, as you share your heart each day at SRT.

    In the same way, you younger men must accept the authority of the elders. And all of you, serve each other in humility, for “God opposes the proud but favors the humble.” 1 Peter 5:5 NLT

    I spent some time in my William MacDonald Believer's Bible Commentary and was so touched by this commentary written on 1 Peter 5:5:

    "Think of it–the mighty God opposed to our pride and determined to break it, contrasted with the mighty God powerless to resist a broken and contrite heart!" (pg.2281)

    There was a time in my life when the Lord broke me. It was a long time coming. Pride. I had built a wall between God and I. I knew it all. I was rarely going to Him for direction anymore. My ego was too big and I began to step on the toes of the amazing people I "served."

    After many gentle warnings (that I brushed off), I fell flat on my face unable to deny how weak I really was without Jesus. I had become the lord of my own life. It was a subtle shift that developed over a few years time. I started out in love with Jesus and sincerely wanting to serve Him with all of my heart. Once entrusted with more, I started to revel in my own abilities instead of pointing people to Christ.

    It is necessary to be humble. It's not an option if I want to be an effective disciple of Christ, lest I risk leading people to any other but Him. Today, I choose brokenness willingly and let Jesus's love wash over all of my failings.

    "My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise." Psalm 51:17 NIV

  • I got ahead of the devotion today and skipped right to the comments. Now I’m going back to comment! What I took from this was ” is it about me or Him?” Leading in this world means I gain followers and I receive power, but leading through Christ means He gives me His power to serve others so that they come to follow Him. Great insight to leading with Humility!

  • 1 Peter 5 is one of my favorite chapters, particularly 6-11. This whole devotion today is pretty applicable. My son was recently diagnosed with autism, and I'm afraid my almost 2 year old daughter may be showing signs, too. And so I am worried constantly about them, about how to help, what to do, and about the lack of resources. And I've really been struggling as a mother, how do I show these children God's love? How do I explain that abstract idea that is hard for me to understand sometimes, to a young child with autism? Simple: Through my actions. Through my own humility and servitude.

    Sometimes that is so hard, though. Sometimes, after worrying and no sleep and one too many tantrums, I am tired. I don't want to
    put forth the effort to shepherd their hearts, because I can barely seem to put time into my own. But I know we are called to serve with humility, and if I cast my anxieties on Him, "Christ, will HIMSELF restore, support, strengthen, and establish" me.

    So today, when I am tired, I will go to Him. I will stand as firm as I can, and rest on the promise that He will strengthen me and hold me up the rest of the way. I will not let Satan have my family. Not today, or ever.

    • Stacy

      Praying for you, Heather. My mama heart hurts for you.

    • JuneBug

      Heather, I have worked with children on the autistic spectrum in my music classes. I kid you not…every. single. one of them. have blessed me and DEEPLY impacted my life. I see these children as a gift to the world with many amazing things to offer no matter what side of the "spectrum" they live on. Autistic children see the world through a unique lens… it may help to know that many of the world changers in history were probably not "neuro-typical" thinkers either.

      I say this to encourage you Mama Heather. I know that the road you travel will be busy and full of challenges that most parents with "neuro-typical" children won't understand, but God has a purpose for you. He has a purpose for your family. He has a purpose for your children as individuals. I am praying that God will remind you of that on the days that seem really, really hard. Blessings from one sister-mom to another.

    • Carolynmimi

      Heather, I have a good friend with an adult autistic son. He exemplifies Christ in his life even though he sees life through an unusual lens. When he was about 12 he told his parents he wanted to be baptized. They were unsure how much he really understood so they had his pastor talk with him. He asked Jerry " Why do you want to be baptized?" Jerry replied, "Because I am a sinner. "For God so Loved the World…" Jesus died for my sins. I want him in my heart." The pastor looked at this young man who was not really looking at him and said, "That's just fine, Jerry." They scheduled the baptizm. God reaches out through us to help others see Jesus and for the autistic, they may find him in different ways, but if we light a path, God will reach them.

    • LeahTvt

      I second what the other ladies here have already said so beautifully and encouragingly! Praying for you and your family!

  • Graphics

    There was no one more humble than Christ and there was no greater leader than Christ. There was also no one who suffered more than Christ. Looking at 1 Peter 5:6-7 I just see Christ.

    One of the biggest things that I have learned about leadership is to never be afraid to say, "I was wrong". Do it often and quickly. Trust me I have had to do more than often. It keeps me humble and closer to Christ. I think, that apologizing to my kids often has given us very real and close relationships as they have grown into young adults.

    Much Grace Ladies

  • I love how Peter describes the humility and grace with which we are to live and lead and, then, reminds us that we have an enemy who wants the opposite for us.

    We, as adults, we spend a lot of time explaining away evil. We tell our children that monsters do not exist. We check in the closet and under the bed and give the “all clear” sign. Most horror movies are so over the top that we just roll our eyes at the absurdity of it all. Satan may be crafty, but he is not creative. He’s been using the same bag of tricks for a long, long time. He would love nothing more than for people to think he doesn’t even exist. After all, who is going to spend time and energy guarding against something that isn’t real?

    There is just one problem. Satan is very real and he is on the prowl. He is not a little red figure with a pitch fork trying to convince you to have a second piece of cheesecake. Treating him like a cartoon character is a dangerous thing to do. Because, while we are living like he doesn’t exist, he is seeking to devour each of us .

    Have I mentioned how much I adore the writers of these devotionals because I totally do. What a great group of ladies!

    • Vanderbilt Wife

      I was listening to a great sermon tonight in the car from David Jeremiah on the realities of Satan. Like how he has angels. How he is the prince of this world. He may not be omnipresent, but you can bet his demons are out there. So very interesting if you have the chance to look it up.

  • Wonderful devotion as always!

    I was struck by verse 5that says, "all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another…" That was after he talked to those in leadership and then those who were to respect their elders. It's just as important for a leader to be humble as it is for those that he/she is leading.

  • I meant to spell marriage.

  • Praying for you this morning Jennifer and Leah. V7 says give all your worries and cares to God because He cares about you! But I think v8 is so important as a follow up. Stay alert! Watch out for the enemy! He is looking for (marraiges) to destroy. Be strong in your faith. He will restore and strengthen you and set you on a firm foundation. I know also all of these ladies will be praying for you!

  • Carolynmimi

    Servant leadership first modeled by Jesus Christ. Peter has had time and the experience of the crucifixition, resurrection, and indwelling of the Holy Spirit to accept into his own being the meaning. Though speaking directly to church elders (leaders), he as Diana says speaks to all of us. Not all have formal titles, but God who is not a regarder of persons does not care one iota about TITLES. God wants all of us to accept the gift of servant leadership.

    I personally have seen the lowest person on the totem pole in a work situation exemplify leadership in the way she served others cheerfully and without fanfare. Believe me, when she came into a grumpy group meeting, smiling, bringing coffee, acknowledging everyone by name, she could turn the mood around.

    I have also been in some situations at work when the Boss, seeing someone struggling with a task, has come alongside that person and pitched in to get the job done and done so cheerfully, full of encouragement, and without making a big deal out of it.

    I have seen children catch the hand of the shy child on the fringes and pull them into the game.

    Someone is watching, OF course, God is, but I mean others, non-Christians, children, co workers, church members, watching and you never know when your words or actions will be just the leadership they need.

    Leadership comes in some remarkable packages.

    • Diana

      I loved what you said Carolyn, that someone is watching. We never know when we've said or done something that bring encouragement to another. Let us always be mindful of our positions as servants of Christ.

  • Candacejo

    I noticed the YouVersion erase of the day too Leah!

    "Never are we at a point in our lives where we no longer need guidance and help." I don't want to ever get to the point I don't think I do not need other people or I do not need God to help me in any situation! I want to be at His feet asking for His wisdom in every area of my life and if He thinks I can't do it alone or someone else can do it better…..then I want to be humble enough to MOVE OVER and let that happen.

    I don't want the Lord to humble me! Luke 14:11 "For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted." Help us Lord to have a humble and a contrite, lowly spirit as Christ had, willing to be submissive and clay in the Potter's hand.

    I especially loved the last part of Diana's lesson, "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."

    Able to BLESS and BE BLESSED…I doubt God uses the haughty and proud too often to send to comfort the broken hearted. Help us Lord to be humble and then sensitive to your voice…ready to hear and ready to go.

    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.

    Be blessed ladies!

  • Ruth Marie

    I think in leadership the key is always pointing back to Christ. In our example, in how we serve, in how we submit, our leadership goals should be always be a show and tell experience. We show them through our lives and tell them God's word on matters. Of course easier said than done. Leadership as a Christian looks far different than the leadership of this world. Leadership in this world is about gaining followers and receiving power, leadership in Christ is about serving others and letting our lives be poured out as an example so that Christ gains followers! It starts in the home and flows out to the world.

  • Wow. This lines up completely with the sermon I heard at church yesterday…And with YouVersion’s verses of the day. I better sit up and listen! I obviously need to learn something here. Have a blessed day, sisters!

  • Many times I find myself starting off a fresh day with a clear mind and ready to raise my little one "in the way [she] should go", desiring to teach her but not always thinking of myself as the "shepherd" setting an example for her to follow. The humility required of true leadership is oft not at the forefront of my mind. I needed this reminder today, and everyday, as I learn to wholeheartedly think of God above all else and lead my daughter daily as well as submit to the authority placed over me.

  • Jennifer

    Good Morning Ladies. I’m new to SRT. It took me weeks extra to get through the Hosea study because God was SO breaking me with that book – my counselor actually recommended this site & that study because of what my husband & I are going through. Once I finished with Hosea, I decided to jump in on the current day of this 1 Peter study (that was yesterday). Again God delights me with His timeliness.

    My husband has struggled with sexual addiction for 23 years. Last week it reached its peak when he met a woman in person with the intention of getting high & having an affair. Praise God he couldn’t go through with the affair! And praise God, even more so, that for the first time he felt compelled to come to me immediately and confess. We have a long road ahead of us, but God is faithful…and He has pressed upon me to endure.

    The second part of today’s 1 Peter passage is what spoke to me. I need to humble myself before God (v6), Cast my anxieties on Him (v7), Be watchful of the devil (v8), stand firm in faith and know I am not alone in this struggle (v9), trust that God will restore me when my suffering is complete (v10).

    I also know that I need to be a humble servant to walk along side my husband – less when he is too weak to do so, listen intently as he continues to open up to me, and pray, pray, pray.

    Thanks for listening… I love the encouragement of this site. “This time? We’re doing it together”…Thanks ladies.

    • Jennifer

      I meant to write lead when he is too weak to do so… not less! Silly auto-correct.

    • Allison

      Praying for you and your husband Jennifer! A few days ago we did 1 Peter 3 and this verse has been on my heart and mind ever since…maybe it's applicable to you? "Wives, submit to your husbands so that if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives."

      It seems like your behavior speaks louder than words…standing by his side and continuing to forgive and pray for him. So very amazing! Praying for you!

    • LeahTvt

      Prays for you, Jennifer! I can relate on some level to what you’re going through. Just over 4 years ago I discovered my husband was deep into the clutches of pornography and going to strip clubs, and I suspected other things as well, but he denies it went beyond that. At some point I had to make the choice to trust again if I wanted the marriage to continue and I absolutely believe that is what God has called me to. God has done an amazing work in me, my husband, and our marriage. But, we too, have a long way to go. May God give us the grace, strength & peace to continue fighting the good fight.

      • Jennifer

        Thanks Leah – and ALL you ladies – I appreciate your prayers and kind words more than you can know. Pornography is at the center of my husbands struggle. He was only 8 years old when it started, so the thorns run deep. He is a believer. I know that to be true. He’s just been trying to fix it on his own for so long. He’s unfortunately been burned by “brothers” of the faith too when he has reached out. This time I feel the Spirit’s reassurance that my husband’s desire to lean on God and fight the fight is genuine. Last week was the first time I heard him admit that though he knows he’s hurt me, he knows he’s wounded God even more. Praying – as you said, Leah – that God will give us the grace, strength & peace to continue fighting the good fight.

    • Candacejo

      Prayers are going up for you and your husband that your marriage will not only be restored but the two of you will have a godly marriage that will KEEP you together and KEEP him FROM desiring the things of this world. We will pray for his salvation that He will come to know the Lord as you do and you can walk this road together.

      So wonderful you have a good counselor! And we will bind together here with you as well!
      Blessings friend.

    • Carolynmimi

      Together we are praying for you and your husband.

    • JuneBug

      I am also praying for you and your husband Jennifer. I have so much respect for you for sticking it out and fighting for your marriage. Praise God that your husband has the courage to be honest with you so it could be addressed. He obviously values you and wants to fight for your marriage also. May you both grow stronger together in the trenches of this battle. May you lean on God to bring you through the other side of it.

    • Diana

      Jennifer, my heart goes out to you. Many years ago my husband and I had a very rocky marriage. He was drinking and being verbally abusive for several years and I was just so close to leaving him. I kept praying and it didn't happen overnight, but God got a hold of his heart and he is a totally different man today. I can't say he's actually walking with the Lord, but God has changed him and has also changed me. You see, I FINALLY realized that I can't change him, but God can. The only person I can change is me. When I continued to pray and to learn to respect him and put him on God's altar is when God took over (when I released hold on the situation and gave up completely). This all happened when our boys were teenagers. They are now grown men with children of their own. Now he can't seem to do enough for me. Believe me it wasn't easy. I needed to lean on the Lord every single day. But it was well worth the sacrifice.

      Father, I lift Jennifer up to you right now and ask that you give her the wisdom that is so necessary especially at this time and in their marriage. I pray that each of them would put away all bitterness, resentment, anger and unforgiveness and that they would be kind and tender hearted forgiving each other as you Father in Christ have forgiven us. In Jesus name. Amen

    • AnnaLee

      My heart goes out to you right now, Jennifer. I'm praying for you. I have no idea the pain you're experiencing, but it is comforting to see a person so steadfast in God, even with this horrible of a struggle. God bless you; you are an encouragement to my faith.

    • eradical84 (EllenMR)

      Jennifer, praying that you have strength and know that you are definitely NOT alone! My best friend went thru something very similar to what you are dealing with. The difference being this issue came out BEFORE she married him. Amazingly and against great protest she went thru with the wedding. At the time, my Mom was just diagnosed with "terminal" cancer so we were actively seeking the Lord and because her fiance was close to my Mom, he became more involved. Long story short, we all came to faith around the same time and he truly was freed from that very addiction! He went on to become even more active in the church and started a men's group dealing with porn addiction, the first of its kind in that church. He always said how tough it was because of media in our society and the easy availability on the internet, to always watch out for too much computer time. I wanted you to hear a successful testimony- it CAN happen!! But as always, ONLY with our Lord can all things be accomplished. Praying for both of you, for His love and strength to sustain you as you walk this road together. You can do it! :)

  • Charmaine

    I’m a mother and grand mother and I find myself continuously in the leadership roll. When I think it’s time for my child to take the role as parent it seems to fall back on me as the grand mother. Don’t get me wrong my daughter is a great mom, but sometimes the kids look to me for guidance as being the older one so to speak. And to be honest I just want to sometimes sit back and enjoy the ride. But a lot of times God has other plans that I have to accept.

    I used to be a trainer for collections as well as a supervisor and taught VBS. I have to admit that with all that leading I think I learned more from them than they learned from me. Being a leader doesn’t mean we get to lord over people it’s means we are MORE responsible for what we teach them.

    Grateful to God for allowing me those opportunity to lead His people including my family. But more grateful that I stand ready and willing to learn from them as well.

    Much love SRT

    • Candacejo

      I love that part Charmaine– "Being a leader doesn't mean we get to lord over people it's means we are MORE responsible for what we teach them." Amen!

  • Wow, as I was reading this I was so struck at how applicable it was to me a a parent. "not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock." That is sure convicting.

    Also, as I head into this week as a VBS teacher to sweet little ones, I want this to be my constant reminder and prayer. SHEPHERD the flock that is among you. Shepherds are gentle, loving, tender. And take care of each sheep … especially the loud, noisy ones who stray. ;)

  • eek.. i struggle with this one. i am a teacher and a mama. i'm struggling more with my classroom kids, rather than my own. i am having a very difficult time leading and providing guidance to my students. i am praying for wisdom and focus, and for the strength, empathy & compassion they so desperately need. to be an example of Christ… and above all, to lead them for His glory.

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