1 Peter 5:6-7
6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, 7 casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.
A World of Self Promotion
We live in a world of self-promotion. We have entire websites which have now been created to aid us in this process. We share our lives, our photos, our ideas on a plethora of internet spaces, we’ve dubbed “social media” because we are important. My ideas are important. My ideas are correct. I’m humorous. My new hair cut is absolutely fabulous. My children are prettier than your children. I’m at Disney World and you’re not. My family is happier than your family. My vacations are better than your vacations. My kids, more successful than your kids, and it goes on and on…
There’s nothing wrong with sharing our lives with others, but underneath this, we have the dangers of massaging our egos and building pride up within us.
A Strange Connection
Notice these statistics on anxiety in America…[click here]
The last three statements in this article are quite alarming…They feel life is passing them by…They question their faith and God’s presence in their lives…The feel distant from God.
Yet, there’s an odd connection between humility and anxiety that we may not notice immediately. Some versions put a period at the end of verse 6 and make verse 7 a separate thought, but that does a disservice to the original wording of Peter. In Greek the word cast is a participle, connecting it directly to the previous verse.
So, what’s Peter saying? There is a direct connection between humility and anxiety. The two are intimately related. Our humility, or lack thereof, is often times directly related to our level of anxiety. Can there be a connection between our culture’s high levels of anxiety and our obsession with self-promotion? I think so!
In these verses, Peter directly links our humbling ourselves under God with our casting of our cares upon Him.
Pride says, “I don’t need any one else, I can fix it myself.”
Humility says, “God. I need your help.”
Pride says, “Look at me. I’m great. My life is great. I’ve got it all under control.”
Humility says, “God is great.”
So, you see, our desire for self-promotion causes us to present ourselves as problem-free and in need of no help, all the while, it builds up anxiety within us because we know, in the depths of our souls, that we don’t have it all together.
Our exterior looks strong and polished, but we are a society that is rotting on the inside.
The solution to this dilemma is found in the verses listed above.
- Let’s Humble Ourselves – when we humble ourselves, we experience the grace of God and God shows his favor toward those who acknowledge their need for Him. James 4:6 quotes Pvbs 3:34 and says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” We access God’s grace when we know we need God’s gracious help and call for it.
- Let’s Cast All Our Anxieties On Him – While studying this passage, I learned that the word “casting” occurs one other time in the Bible. It’s in Luke 19:35. The context is the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. The disciples have just returned with the donkey colt Jesus told them to retrieve and Luke says, “and throwing their cloaks on the colt…” The phrase is “an idiom, literally ‘to throw upon’ or ‘to cast upon’ to cause responsibility for something to be upon someone—‘to put responsibility on, to make responsible for.’ … ‘put upon him all responsibility for your cares’ or ‘make him responsible for all your worries’* By casting our anxieties on God, he become the burden bearer. He carries the load we cannot.
- Know That He Cares For You – It pleases God to be a burden-bearing God – because He cares for you. Do you trust in the promise that God does indeed care for you? Not just in general, but He cares about the specifics of your life.
- Psalm 68:19 – “Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears us up; God is our salvation. Selah“.
- Psalm 55:22 – “Cast your burden on the Lord, and He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved”.
- Psalm 46:1,2 – “God is our refuge and strength, a great help in times of distress. Therefore we will not be frightened when the earth roars, when the mountains shake in the depths of the seas.”
- 1 Peter 2:24 -“He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.”
*Johannes P. Louw and Eugene Albert Nida, Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: Based on Semantic Domains (New York: United Bible Societies, 1996), 798.