“Young men [or young people], in the same way be submissive to those who are older. 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.” (Reference: 1 Peter 5:5-7 )
The editors of Reading the Anabaptist Bible also said, “Many Anabaptists connected pride to covetousness, and humility to generosity.” Ambrosius Spitelmaier wrote on this theme from prison saying, “A Christian has nothing of his own, indeed, no place where he can lay his head. A real, true Christian is not to have even as much on earth that he could stand on it with his foot. This does not mean that he is to have no shelter. . . . But he is to count nothing as his own. He cannot say: “This house is mine, that field is mine, this penny is mine; rather, it is all ours.” As we say, “Our Father.” To sum up, a Christian is to claim nothing as his own, but is to have all things in common with his brother so as not to allow him to suffer need. I am not to work so that my house may be full, that my storeroom is full of meat, but am to look also at what my brother needs. A Christian looks more to his neighbour than to himself (1 Cor. 13). Whoever desires to be rich here, however, so that he lacks nothing as to body or goods, and whoever wants to be looked up to by people and wants all people to fear him and who does not fall down before the feet of the Lord, like Magdalene, the king of Nineveh, and king David, that person will be abased there (Luke 22, 18; 1 Pet. 5).”
After these days of considering the theme of “Pride” – whether you believe it to be a sin or a potential for sin – you have to admit it is a significant issue for the historic Anabaptists. If you have been keeping track, this is the sixth day of this issue. Tomorrow we will be moving on to something else.
By the way beloved, verses 1 to 4 of this passage are exhortations to the elders in the church to act properly also. I find it interesting, in light of thinking back to my childhood and what I was taught about pride, to read and consider the trait of pride. From a psychological stand point, not having pride shows poor self-image and self-esteem. But from a theological/spiritual stand point (via Anabaptism/Mennonite) pride is a sin and one that should be repented of. I do not that when I was in young adulthood the issue of strong self-image and self-esteem was talked about a great deal. We were encouraged to have a healthy self-image, balanced out with an awareness of our place in God’s kingdom. And just because we are moving on does not mean this issue no longer merits attention. Weak self-esteem is the root of much sin, as much as overinflated pride.
May you beloved, through God’s grace and guidance, find a balance in your life; and may there be an honored place in God’s kingdom for you. Selah!