Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time - 1 Peter 5:6
Our society harbors many myths, but the among the worst is the notion of a “self-made” person. There is the temptation to believe that idea as one the personal traits that sets Americans apart from other people in other places on the planet. I grew up as many people, taught to admire the person who could stand on their “own two feet,” against all odds and, “pull themselves up by their bootstrap.” I believed such myths before I read the gospels. That was when I realized that in almost none of the stories of the “self-made,” does anyone mention God.
The writer of 1 Peter tells the Christians who scattered into Asia Minor to escape the persecutions of the Emperor Nero that God will pull them up. They knew that they would never be able to accomplish their dreams against the might of the Roman Empire, but the write appeals to their strength to believe that God is stronger than the powers in this world.
Today, many people would see such advice as naïve. Humility. Downplay your importance? Most people in today’s society want to have their special natures recognized by as many as possible. The greatest act of humility is to take a back seat in control over your life to another.
Give control over your life to God? The very thought makes many people queasy. They want to know how and when their dreams will be fulfilled. They want guarantees that if they do as God says, everything is going to turn out as they wish.
Across the centuries, the message continues to challenge those who claim to believe the message of the gospels, “Be humble under the God’s control.” Be like the lamb lost from the flock. Be like the ram caught in the bush. The lion that cannot remove a thorn from its paw. Face the pain and the troubles that the world can heap upon you as the Lord directs. Be moved by God’s mighty hand.