Reading: Having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation. Therefore submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake… 1 Peter 2:12-13
In a world in which we are told to be self-asserting, self-promoting and to celebrate our “rights” and individuality, it is interesting that a godly testimony is characterized by submission. This admonition to submit is coming from Peter, the brash, assertive disciple, who always seemed to have things in control; or try to. Peter had learned that he was not in control and, now, under the persecution of the Romans he is asking the believers to show their faith in the risen Lord by submitting.
Notice the wide application of submission; to all human institutions (2:13), servants to their masters (2:18), to bitter providences and persecution (2:19-13, 3:8ff), and wives to husbands (3:1ff). Notice the example we have in this submission and from whom we receive power to submit when is cut across individual pride; Jesus Christ who “suffered for you” (2:21).
We are happy to be humbled as long as it doesn’t hurt. The Holy Spirit asks us to humble ourselves, which does hurt and kills pride, because in all of these areas of submission, we are essentially “under the might hand of God” (1 Peter 5:6).