Submit to the Elders

I Peter 5:5. “Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.”

I believe that one of the most tragic things that can happen in a church is younger people having no regard or respect for the older, wiser, more experienced members. I’ve seen the results of giving too much control to a novice–someone who has not lived or experienced enough to be able to handle the leadership wisely and well. The Bible says we are not to “lift up a novice” in I Timothy 3:6. The word novice can mean one who is too young to have gained experience; it can also refer to a new convert. Either way, this person could easily become full of himself, full of the pride of his position, and come under judgment for his failure to lead in a godly manner.

Does this mean that all leaders in the church should be old, wrinkled, and feeble? No, of course not. There are younger men and women who have humbled themselves under the mighty hand of God, and through whom God can and does work mightily. What we need to do, in choosing church leadership, is look at the maturity level of a person. There are, after all, some very old folks who have never quite gotten over their youthful immaturity!

We are to be subject one to another in the church. Our demeanor should be that of humility. God resists those who are proud and demand to be leaders, but He gives grace to those who are humble in spirit and are willing to submit to others in the church.

Some people just seem to be natural leaders, tending to rise to leadership in any situation. Those people need to be acutely aware of the possibility of pride in their natural, God-given abilities. We need to remember that God has given us those abilities, and He can take them away!

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