Lord, at the end of this week give me eyes to see what I have done that has been pleasing to You and forgive me for that which has not.
Read 1 Peter 5:1–7
To the Elders and the Flock
5 To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder and a witness of Christ’s sufferings who also will share in the glory to be revealed: 2 Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; 3 not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. 4 And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away.
5 In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because,
“God opposes the proud
but shows favor to the humble.”[a]
6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. 7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
a 1 Peter 5:5 Prov. 3:34
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhat difference did this new life in Christ make to the concept of leadership?
We seem to have a never-ending selection of leadership training courses available today, in the church and beyond. It is interesting that Peter sums up his leadership training in four verses! Notice how he describes his own credentials in verse 1.
The whole point of being a shepherd is to look after your flock of sheep—to know them and their needs and to know how to get them to good pasture. These verses speak of enthusiastic care that puts the needs of others first. There is an amazing reward ahead from the perfect role model (4).
We are not all elders in the church, but we all exercise leadership in one situation or another. Do these characteristics describe how you interact with and influence people around you: friends, children, colleagues, teammates?
Outside the early church humility was not really regarded as a virtue. Jesus introduces humble service as the way of his kingdom. Peter has learned this from the Chief Shepherd himself and is able to encourage it as an overriding virtue for everyone (5,6).
How easily are you able to put verse 7 into practice? Whether it is in the context of leadership responsibilities or any other area of life, what a great invitation to have and hold on to.
Think of the leaders you know and consider how you might support them in their responsibilities before God.
Lord, I pray for the leaders of my church that they may be wise, humble and understanding.