Peter spoke to a church in 1 Peter 5 and didn’t address the church as the authority we would come to necessarily expect as the chief leader Apostle amongst the 12 disciples, or the first to preach a sermon to the gentiles. Instead, he addresses the church from a place of humility and pleads with the church and the leadership at that church to be what God called them to.
This is also the same Peter that was reprimanded publicly for his hypocrisy in Galatians by the Apostle Paul. Following Jesus surely is a process. And we can see in Peter that he continued to be reprimanded and rebuked even when Jesus was not physically present.
The humility of a leader is what stuck out to me as David Alvarez preached and shared with us his heart and his ministry this past Sunday. What I appreciate more than his words, was how he ministered, as a fellow man, struggling still, but trusting in God’s good will for him. What I found is that a man, with his wounds open, did not point me to his great wisdom or knowledge, but a ministry that poured out of who he is. In doing so, when a leader amongst us is humble and vulnerable, he sets this example for the rest of the family of God. He gives freedom to others to embrace their own brokenness points not to himself, but to Jesus who really has the power to save.
This really is what it means to be the light. When our lives are open to be seen by others, we allow ourselves at times to look less than positive, but it makes our trust in our Savior much more stellar.
Many of us dislike being criticized or corrected. We may even downright hate it at times. But when correction comes from a loving place, with understanding and care, it can bring great healing and redemption into a situation where positive change can begin.
What Peter does in the scriptures is both. We see him addressing with love and care, with vulnerability of humility of his own mistakes, which are well known to many in the community. You can imagine how loved the people he is addressing must feel when they hear from someone on an equal level rather than a higher authority bringing a stern rebuke. A word spoken at the right time by a friend at times holds more weight than a life time of sermons. While I love and enjoy the preaching of God’s word and the gathering of his church together, what brings me great joy is when the word of God touches the deep parts of people in relationships in smaller groups and in everyday life. Those really are the areas where our faith shows, when nobody is watching, or when it seems as if nobody cares, or when a situation looks real dire, and somehow faith still seems to survive. And we all need someone like that to demonstrate that faith to us, and to at times, lend us that faith.
Whether you are in a season of giving, or receiving, it is my prayer that you would be compelled, not out of compulsion of guilt or shame, but out of love and joy, to continue to allow God to walk alongside you and guide you to greener pastures.