There seems to be no shortage of pride in our culture. Everyone is proud of who they are. So much so that the thought of someone having to change their lifestyle, their wants, their opinion is anathema. “You are perfect just the way you are” is the unwritten mantra of social media. Well, I’M perfect just the way I am, if you disagree with me in any point, YOU need improvement. Again, Pride.
Pride has always been one of the great shortcomings of the young adult. When a child begins to mature, and finds himself or herself between childhood and adulthood an inner struggle emerges that few have navigated well. At odds with themselves, they find they desperately want to be adults, but without the conditions of adulthood. Responsibility, hard work, common sense. Leave me alone and let me make my own decisions, I’m an adult now! But I’m still going to dress like a 12 year old because I like it. This time used to last a few years, and by the early 20’s most came to understand that real maturity means acknowledging the truth, even when it means you have to change. In modern times, this age in a young persons life seems for many to extend well into their 30’s, even some refuse to grow up into their 40’s, or at all.
In his first epistle, Peter wraps up his teaching with exhortations to engage in the activities that become a child of God. To the young he says,
1 Peter 5:5-7…Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
The first step in a young adult becoming wise, in truly becoming an adult, is submission to the wisdom of those who are older. This seems natural for children, they need instruction, they have a thousand questions about the world around them. Once testosterone or estrogen begin raging through the body though, a young person seems to get the idea that they know everything important. Mark Twain famously said “When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.”
Why do we all go through this period in our lives? Pride. Pride was the first sin. God doesn’t know better than me, this fruit is good!
Peter is not singling out youth though. Look at verse 5 again, Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. We should all defer to one another. As a good friend once told me, everyone has something to add to your life. Like a book, you “eat the fish and spit out the bones!” We all need to exercise humility. Because if we do not exercise humility ourselves, we will be humiliated at some point. God has His ways of humbling us, and if we won’t enter into it ourselves, He will do it for us.
The good news in this is that God gives grace to the humble. He exalts the humble in due time.
There is a reward awaiting the saved. Any loss of rights, privilege or honor in this life is temporary, and not worth the aggravation or worry. Peter ends this passage with a verse we can all grab onto, but in the context is especially for young people. “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” He wants our young people to know that they can quit worrying about the future. quit worrying, wondering if He can sustain and maintain His earth, if there will be enough time, enough money, enough of anything. Throw your worries on His back, He can bear them better than you can anyway.
We don’t need protests, social media anger, organizations to take a stand or politicians to do something. We need humility. Individual, sincere, true humility. If our youth could catch hold of real humility, they really would change the world.
‘Till Jesus Returns,