By Bethany Hoffer (Director of Youth Ministries at the Palmyra Church of the Brethren (PA))
1 Peter 5:1-14 “clothe yourselves with humility towards one another…”
Have you ever been criticized for something that you believe in or made fun of for the way you feel called to live out your faith? I think this happens to all of us at some point or another if we take our faith seriously. It can be difficult in these moments to keep calm and refrain from biting back. 1 Peter is a pastoral letter of encouragement to continue to live in the way of Christ even in the midst of suffering and persecution. Christianity was relatively new and certainly wasn’t the most popular way of life. It countered many aspects of the pagan culture, the societal norms. Following Jesus was not an easy way of life. Peter was writing to encourage them in their faith, to inspire them to stand strong in the face of adversity, but to do so with humility. “Clothe yourselves with humility in your dealings with one another.”
Humility can be hard! We don’t want to be perceived as weak or foolish. But in reality, humility is the opposite of these things. It requires strength and wisdom. Humility allows us to let go and to trust that God will take care of whatever the issue may be. May we be filled with the strength and wisdom to be humble in the face adversity.
Good News: Even in the midst of our struggles, God cares for us and offers strength and support.
Discussion question: When have you suffered because of your faith? What helps you to remain humble in the face of adversity? How can we help each other to “clothe ourselves in humility”?
Go one step further:
An important aspect of humility is recognizing our own faults and shortcomings, rather than judging those of others. Practicing mindfulness helps us to center and calm ourselves. The more that we practice mindfulness, the slower we will react in moments of anger or frustration, giving us time to remember humility.
(there is a graphic on this page with easy to follow steps)