When we get dressed; we clothe ourselves; we cover ourselves with the cloth. The cloth can be made of different kinds of material: wool, cotton, and polyester, even lotus fibers. This cloth can be all kinds of patterns or no patterns. The cloth can be any color. Peter calls us to clothe ourselves not with cloth but a characteristic of Christ.
“Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another”— 1 Peter 5:5 (ESV)
What is humility? Humility is not thinking that you are worthless. It is not thinking of yourself as useless? It is not devaluing yourself. Rather, humility is as you really are especially in light of being a sinner in need of a savior and as a creature with a creator.
How do we get humility? How do we put on humility?
Peter gives us three hints to putting on humility in the context of commanding us to clothe ourselves with humility.
- Give help to others
“To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder, a witness of Christ’s sufferings and one who also will share in the glory to be revealed: 2 Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, serving as overseers—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve; 3 not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. 4 And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away”— 1 Peter 5:1–4 (NIV84)
Peter calls elders to serve their flock as overseers and to be eager to serve them. When a person serves others and gives help, that person puts on humility.
When Jesus was on earth, he gave help to others.
- Get help from God (and from others)
See what Peter says on the other side of clothing yourself with humility:
“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you”— 1 Peter 5:7 (NIV84)
I have heard some people say they pray but they don’t pray for themselves. They see that not praying for themselves as a virtue. However, Jesus prayed when he wanted help from His heavenly Father. He prayed before He chose the twelve and before he went to the cross.
Asking for help from God is one way to show dependency upon God and humility before God. Also, asking for help from others grows our humility.
- Get tough with the devil
Look at what Peter says next:
“Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings”— 1 Peter 5:8–9 (NIV84)
He tells us to resist the devil. One of the ways to resist the devil is to realize that he often works to fill us with pride. In the garden of Eden, Satan’s first strategy is to get Eve to doubt God’s goodness and secondly to stir up her pride with 5 “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil”—Genesis 3:5). Satan wants you to take off humility and put on pride.
As we resist the devil, we resist pride, and we get dressed with humility.
So as you get dress, don’t forget to put on humility.
How have you tried to dress yourself with humility?