A Teachable Spirit
A Teachable Spirit
Peter gives a picture of Christ-like leadership near the close of his first epistle. It is not a leadership of self-promotion as we see from our worldly leaders but one of a servant’s leadership.
This seems to be a very different man than the often brash and outspoken man we read about in the Gospels. I often wonder what precipitated this change in Peter. Did Christ’s repeated examples and teachings as God incarnate start to break through his human notions of leaders and godliness? Was it some pivotal moments in Peter’s life that made him more teachable? Perhaps it was being brought low at his own betrayal of Jesus (Matthew 26:69-75)? Was it recognition of his own hypocrisy after being called out by Paul for his treatment of Gentiles (Galatians 2:11-21)?
As with all of our lives, there were likely pivotal moments in Peter’s life where he was more teachable. However, I think the Spirit guided Peter at the end of the passage to show us one essential ingredient for us to be teachable as Peter (1 Peter 5:5, 6):
“Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.’ Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you.” (ESV)
Only when we “clothe ourselves in humility” and approach God with the same humility as Peter are we in a condition where our Lord can teach us and mold us. Perhaps more difficult is the instruction for us to have humility with one another. However, if we are to learn from one another, we need to approach each other with similar humility. In doing so we are each able to bring our differences together making up the complete body our Lord envisioned for His kingdom.