“Think Different.” This was a wonderful slogan used by my wife’s favorite technology maker, Apple. The great thing about this phrase is how relevant it is in our culture today.
“Think Different” is exactly what the young men of this culture need to do and must do starting now. What are you waiting for? How about some guidelines?
As Christian men, we must think differently. I found the apostle Peter to be a good example for us. No, he did not have the technology we have today or the influence that comes along with all of it, but he did face many hardships and persecutions that we can relate to, such as pride, lust, drinking and more.
Toward the end of 1 Peter, we get a solid glimpse of what it means to be a mature young man and how we are suppose to carry ourselves. Follow along as we break down 1 Peter 5:5-10.
“Young men, in the same way be submissive to those who are older. All of you, clothe yourselves in humility toward one another, because, ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble’” (v. 5). Peter is specifically targeting the young men in this section, and his first verse deals with submissiveness. Would you agree that young men think they are on top of the world, that they can conquer anything and that they know everything? I can agree that this is not every man, but this is certainly a large percentage. Peter directs us young men to stay submissive because God opposes the proud. In other words, cut out the pride and willingly submit to those above you.
A few other words associated with submissive would be patient, respectful, servant-like and compliant. As young men, we are going to have to earn our stripes. We are going to have to keep our mouth shut when we don’t want to, and we are going to have to learn things by experience.
Pray that God would show and teach you how to be submissive to those in authority above you.
“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” (vv. 6-7). It appears that out of the three exhortations, humility is at the top of the list. Peter builds up this word three times over the span of these few verses. He is saying to stay humble under the protection and guidance of God and that, after awhile and when you are ready, He will lift you up and make you a strong disciple. We must humble ourselves first and be open to His teaching before we can be released to do His work.
Being humble also means we are not being proud or arrogant. We do not allow ourselves to be put on a pedestal of any type. We have an understanding that we are lower in rank or “second” to Christ and we, again, are courteous and respectful to those around us at all times.
Pray daily that God would teach and show you how to maintain humility in your life.
Be Self-Controlled and Alert
“Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around you like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings” (vv. 8-9).
So we are to be submissive, humble and self-controlled? Who teaches this kind of stuff anymore? I think we can all agree that no one is really teaching this to young men these days, but it is exactly what they need to hear and it is exactly how they need to act. Peter paints a wonderful picture of what the enemy is doing around us and how the enemy is just waiting—waiting for us to make a mistake and give into sin. We must pull together, as Peter says at the end of the verse, and work together to defeat this enemy. Stay in contact with your friends in Christ, stay accountable and stay in prayer as we are all going through troubles.
Pray that God would help you stay self-controlled and alert every day! Pray for open eyes and an open heart!
And finally, in verse 10, Peter says after we have had to suffer through the lessons mentioned above, God will restore us and make us strong and steadfast. It is our reward for being young men who truly “think different.”
Stand up and think different this week. What other lessons can you add to this list?
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