Devotional: June 9, 2020
But all of you, leaders and followers alike, are to be down to earth with each other, for— God has had it with the proud, But takes delight in just plain people.
So be content with who you are, and don’t put on airs. God’s strong hand is on you; he’ll promote you at the right time. Live carefree before God; he is most careful with you.
First Peter 5: 5-7
Authenticity is a virtue. Here, Peter encourages everyone, from all walks of life, to be honest and open with each other. He firmly believes that being haughty, phony, proud, and arrogant turns off the Lord. Many other scriptures, including Jesus’ own words, reinforce this truth. Let’s face it, we usually know when we are with someone who thinks they are better than us.
Mr. Rogers used to say on his children’s show, “I like you just the way you are”. Peter is essentially saying the same thing. Don’t change and try and be something you think others want you to be. Be you. Society often tries to tell us who we should be, but God wants us to be who He created us to be: authentic.
Peter can preach this relaxed, “let-your-hair-down” attitude because he had been with Jesus for three years. Jesus had seen the good, the bad and the ugly sides of Peter. Yet Jesus still loved and accepted Peter. This helps us understand why Peter would encourage his listeners to be carefree in the sight of God. Jesus had seen it all, and He still accepted Peter.
Peter is not promoting carelessness or laziness. In fact, many of his writings encourage us to be diligent, and on guard against evil. He is not promoting disconnecting from the realities of life. Peter is promoting connecting with God.
The good news of the gospel is that we don’t have to become someone else, in order to win God’s acceptance. The energy it takes to be something you are not can be exhausting. With God’s love and encouragement, we can grow to become the best version of ourselves: who He wants us to be. As a result, we will have more energy to relax, and to enjoy life.
So understand that God has carved out each and every one of us to be who He created us to be. We are all unique in His eyes. He likes us that way. As Peter reminds his hearers, “Live carefree before God, for He is careful, (literally, full of caring) with you.” Hallelujah! and Amen.
God who is always there for us,
Often, we are told that we need to be like someone else. Deep down, our faith tells us that trying to be someone else is foolish. Instead, help us to remember that You created us, You love us, and You want to save us. Therefore, we can relax in Your love. May it be so! We pray this prayer in the name of Your son, and our Lord, Jesus Christ.