THE PROUD PEACOCK

By

Shelby G. Floyd

Good morning everyone! It is a beautiful day, and as my friend says, “Every day is beautiful.” That is true, but some days are more beautiful. “This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalms 118:24).

Today our lesson is titled, The Proud Peacock.” I think the Peacock is the perfect symbol to describe people who are puffed up with an overwhelming estimate of themselves and of their pride. We use the terms, proud Marine, proud parent, proud graduate, proud teacher, and on and on and on. There is nothing wrong with having a certain amount of pride or what I would call self-respect. But when we are talking about the kind of pride that the Bible describes and which God opposes, then we’re talking about the kind of pride in which a person says I have done all of this myself. No one else helped me and I did not depend on anybody! I did this all by myself, as if there are no other factors in what you are or what you have been able to accomplish.

That cannot be true. Every person and everything we accomplish is because somebody else has helped us. Whatever we do, we build on what everyone has done who lived before us. So when you and I are tempted to boast and arrogantly claim that we are proud of what we are or what we have done, just remember that somebody else also had a part in it—your parents, your fellow countrymen, your work associates, your family, and Almighty God. Nobody can accomplish anything completely by themselves and be proud in that sense.

THE TEXT

Let us look at our text today from the writing of the apostle Peter. We will only notice verse five as we begin our lesson:

1 Peter 5:5
Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for
“God resists the proud,
But gives grace to the humble.”
NKJV

Continue reading “THE PROUD PEACOCK”

CLOTHED WITH HUMILITY

By

Shelby G. Floyd

Humility

It is human nature to resist submitting to authority. And yet the Bible commands us to “humble ourselves.” In discussing the role of the elders of the church, Peter declared that they are to “shepherd the flock,” and to “take the oversight” of the congregation. In taking this responsibility, the bishops or elders are to superintend and direct the life of each local congregation: “To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder, a witness of Christ’s sufferings and one who also will share in the glory to be revealed: Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, serving as overseers—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be…” (1 Peter 5:1-2 NIV). Continue reading “CLOTHED WITH HUMILITY”

Be Not High-Minded

By

Shelby G. Floyd

ego

There are two human attitudes which are as far apart as the North Pole is from the South Pole. Those two attitudes are pride and humility. The Bible warns repeatedly concerning the attitude of pride, and the Bible repeatedly admonishes us and encourages us to take on the spirit of humility.

John Ruskin once wrote,

“I believe that the first test of a truly great man is his humility. I do not mean by humility doubt of his own powers, but really great men have a curious feeling that the greatness is not in them but through them, and they see something divine in every other man, and are endlessly, foolishly, incredibly merciful.”

Another writer, B. F. Riley, said, “Lowliness is essential to loftiness.” Someone has said concerning humility, “Lowliness is the base of every virtue, and he who goes the lowest builds the safest.” Still another writer has pointed out that, “A sound head, an honest heart and a humble spirit are the three best guides through time and to eternity.” Each of these statements simply expresses the teaching of the New Testament scriptures concerning the importance of humility on the part of every child of God.

The Spirit of Pride

The egotistical, self-seeking, arrogant spirit of many today is nothing new under the sun. Even the apostles of Jesus Christ had this spirit, and Jesus repeatedly had to correct their attitudes, and teach them the spirit of humility.

On one occasion the disciples asked Jesus the pointed question, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” Jesus answered their question by calling a little child unto him, and by setting this little child in the midst of the apostles. Having done this he said,

“Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18: 3-4 ESV).

Was this teaching of Jesus Christ on this occasion sufficient to change the attitude of the apostles from pride, egotism and a haughty spirit to that of the humility of a little child? No, definitely it was not, for just two chapters later, in the gospel according to Matthew, we find that this spirit was still among them.

James and John, the sons of Zebedee, desired preeminent places of power, influence and prestige in what they thought would be an earthly kingdom. They sent their mother to ask Christ for the right hand and the left hand position when he would come in his kingdom. However the worldly spirit and attitude of the apostles could not be characteristic of them in the kingdom of God. His kingdom was not to be worldly, but spiritual in nature. The kingdom of God would be the reign of God in the hearts of men. Jesus said one time, “The kingdom of God is within you,” that is, it is a spiritual reign within the hearts of men. Continue reading “Be Not High-Minded”