1 Peter 5:6 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

1 Peter 5:6, NIV: "Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time."

1 Peter 5:6, ESV: "Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you,"

1 Peter 5:6, KJV: "Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:"

1 Peter 5:6, NASB: "Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time,"

1 Peter 5:6, NLT: "So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor."

1 Peter 5:6, CSB: "Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, so that he may exalt you at the proper time,"

What does 1 Peter 5:6 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

All of us long to be glorified. We long to know that we are significant, and to have others know it, as well. That desire is not necessarily wrong. All natural human desires have some legitimate, God-honoring purpose, and a means to express it properly. In this case, we are made in God's image, and He has built into us the desire to be exalted. The key to a biblical, Christian view of glory is paying close attention to what God says about seeking it. The Bible teaches us to quit struggling so hard to make it happen, and trust God to exalt us at the right time and place as He sees fit. He's a good Father who loves us; let Him be in charge of bringing us glory.

Jesus showed us how to do that. Philippians 2 reminds us that Jesus is God and yet, when He came to earth, He made Himself nothing. Instead, He became a servant to all. Then, at the right time, the Father elevated Jesus to the highest position in the universe. Peter echoes that idea in this and the following verse. Why are we so afraid to put on humility toward other Christians? Why does it bother us to live in submission to other people? We are afraid of becoming insignificant, of going unrecognized, of making ourselves nothing.

As used in Scripture, "humility" does not mean weakness or self-hatred. It means a proper appreciation of how we are, in relationship to God. It means strength under control. As C.S. Lewis said, "Humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less."

Peter reminds us that we are not humbling ourselves under the hand of our human authorities, including the elders in the church. No, we are willingly humbling ourselves under the hand of God. When the proper time comes, He will exalt us either here, or in the life to come, or both, to some extent. Our willingness to serve, to make ourselves nothing, isn't a declaration that we are, in fact, insignificant. Our humility in service is a declaration that our mighty God can be trusted to give us all the glory and recognition that we long for when time is right.