Soil. Sunlight. Water. No weeds. In case you missed David’s college agronomy lesson at the Porch, those are the things that grass needs to grow. Thank you, general elective classes! No doubt David has put that higher education to good use taking care of his own lawn, but the bigger question – and the real reason he shared that – is, what do you need to grow? More specifically, what does your faith need so that it can grow? 1 Peter has some answers.
In chapter 5 Peter is wrapping up his letter to Christians who have been scattered because of persecution. These few verses have some powerful truths about how to live and grow as a Christian. Some of them were written specifically to young adults, and they apply to our lives now just as much as they did when Peter wrote them nearly 2,000 years ago.
1. Submit to Godly Leadership
“In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders.” (1 Peter 5:5)
This doesn’t mean that you have to do what someone says just because they’re older than you. It means you should put yourself underneath the leadership of godly elders who will help care for your soul and develop your faith. Do you have it all figured out spiritually? Didn’t think so. Being led by mature Christians with more spiritual experience than you is a great way to grow your faith.
One incredibly important way to do this is to join a local church as a member. Becoming a member means that you put yourself underneath the spiritual leadership of elders who meet the qualifications found in 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:6-9. Whatever church you join, make sure that it teaches the Bible accurately and calls people to actually follow its teachings! We talk a lot about church membership at The Porch. Listen to this message, or read this blog post about the importance of church membership, and this one about three reasons you should join a local church.
If you want to learn more about joining Watermark, you can check out our Membership Class!
2. Clothe Yourself in Humility
“All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, ‘God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.’ Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.” (1 Peter 5:5b-6)
You’ve probably got a favorite outfit – maybe it’s the latest one you bought, or the classic that you feel like a million bucks in. But would you like to know the best-looking thing you could possibly wear? It’s humility. Humility looks good on everyone, all the time, and it always fits.
A great definition of humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less. Meaning, you don’t need to be down on yourself to be humble – you just need to look to others’ needs more than you look to your own, and “I’m just watching out for number one” should not be in your vocabulary.
Like that outfit, you have to choose to put humility on. It doesn’t just happen. If you spend more time in the morning getting physically ready than you do getting spiritually ready, your priorities are probably off, and humility most likely isn’t the thing that marks your life. And that’s a pretty big deal, because God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble. Divine favor? Yes please. Hello, humility.
For more thoughts on what it means to be humble, check out this blog post on revolutionary humility.
3. Don’t Carry Your Anxiety – Cast it
“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7)
Am I going to get that job? How am I going to make rent? Will I get married, and to whom? How will I pay off all this student debt? Am I ever going to get asked out? How do I cope with all this stress? Worry and anxiety can choke out the work of God’s Word in your life. Sound extreme? Jesus Himself said so in the parable of the sower. You cannot grow spiritually if you are full of anxiety and try to carry it on your own.
You should not be holding onto a single ounce of anxiety in your life. Peter says to cast all of it on God because He cares for you. It’s impossible for you to over-burden God with your worries. He can handle them, and He wants to carry them for you. Cast them on Him by praying specifically about the things you’re worrying about, asking for His help, and then trusting Him with the outcome. He’s in control, He’s good, and He will help you make it through the day.
Like grass, anxiety grows in a certain kind of soil – uncertainty. You’re not sure that things are going to work out, so you worry. But you know what else needs uncertainty to grow? Faith! If you handle uncertainty in your life by worrying about it, you’ll be burdened by anxiety and unable to grow. But if you handle uncertainty by praying about it and trusting God with it, you’ll find that your faith gets stronger as you see God work. Love Him. Trust Him. Lean on Him. He won’t let you down.