All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:5-7 (NIV)
Peter gives three reasons it is important for us to be humble (to be released from a preoccupation with ourselves).
First, God opposes the proud, but humility is the key to spiritual growth
God cannot bear to see pride in is His children, and our pride will bring us under His fatherly discipline. If God opposes what we seek to do for Him, then what hope do we have?
Where pride closes the door to spiritual growth, however, humility opens the door to more of God’s grace in your life. To the humble, God gives the fruit of the spirit—graces like patience, peace, and gentleness. Spiritual growth happens in a Christian believer as the likeness of Jesus Christ is increased and multiplied in the soil of humility.
Second, when you practice humility, God will lift you up
Jesus was exalted to the right hand of God. As you humble yourself under God’s mighty hand, He will also lift you up. You will face surprises, disappointments, and unexpected changes that God allows into your life. But if you will accept what God allows, He will lift you up.
Third, humility provides the ultimate release from anxiety
If you think that what happens is ultimately in your hands, that’s pride. None of us can add an inch to our height or an hour to our life by worrying (Mat. 6:27). What happens to you is ultimately in the hands of God, and God cares for you.
If you humble yourself and recognize—everything that happens in your family, your church, and your life is ultimately in the hands of God—then you’re going to be released from anxiety.
Which reason for cultivating humility is most motivating?