“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
The path that Jesus calls us to follow requires humility. It requires turning from a self-oriented life to a Christ-centered life. This was a big challenge for Simon Peter. It is a big challenge for us.
In the beginning, Simon Peter lacked humility. He was often self-oriented and arrogant. He wanted to be the center of attention. He was constantly arguing with the other disciples about who would occupy the most prominent place in Jesus’ administration. He continuously asserted himself and his opinion, usually without pausing to listen or taking the time to understand the situation or consider someone else’s perspective or opinion.
But slowly and progressively, Peter learned that the call to follow Jesus required death to self. He learned to stop being self-centered and began to humble himself.
“And he said to all, If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” (Luke 9.23)
“Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.” (Galatians 5.24)
Here is the prime question: What is the source of authority in your life? What reference points do you use for right and wrong? Where do you look for moral guidance, direction, and authority? Scripture tells us the wise person looks to God, but the foolish person looks to self.
“There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.” (Proverbs 14.12)
“Do you see a man who is wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.” (Proverbs 26.12)
“Whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered.” (Proverbs 28.26)
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones.” (Proverbs 3.5-7)
The foolish person makes the fatal mistake of trusting in their own thoughts, feelings, and impulses. Their arrogance promotes self and fuels a defiance that rejects God’s standards.
The wise person, on the other hand, trusts God and seeks to live in obedience to the lordship of Christ. Like all people, the wise person has preferences, but they subordinate their preferences to God’s principles and precepts.
Arrogance is dangerous. And because we tend to be self-oriented, arrogance is easy to fall into. We all have a tendency to be “right in our own eyes.” However, we must understand, as scripture teaches, that arrogance is the way of a fool, whereas humility is The Path to which Jesus calls us.
“The greatest among you shall be your servant. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.” (Matthew 23.11-12)