on being a humble leader + follower

1 Peter 5:1-11, Mark 10:43-44

BY Diana Stone

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.

Post Comments (46)

46 thoughts on "on being a humble leader + follower"

  1. Zara says:

    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.

  2. mackenzie says:

    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!

  3. 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! :)

  4. AnnaLee says:

    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!

    1. LeahTvt says:

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

  5. Lauren says:

    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

  6. JuneBug says:

    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

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