Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” (1 Peter 5:5)
Much Needed Clothing
The manner of dress says a lot about a person. Someone who wears little or revealing clothes shows the world their contempt for modesty. Wearing too many garments embellished with ornaments can be immodest. There are admonitions in scripture that men and women should clothe themselves with modesty without the pretense of outward adorning. The child of God is more concerned about the inward clothing than the world’s fashions. Peter writes about the chaste conduct of women to be the hidden person of a gentle and quiet spirit and concludes his letter with the admonition for all to clothe themselves with the garments of humility.
Modesty comes from an understanding of how God desires His children to dress. The clothing of humility is a spiritual garment that covers the person’s spirit, showing the world a character of godliness. Humility is not a trinket worn on the ankle or bracelet hanging from the wrist. It becomes a garment that shows the world the heart of the person is seeking the exaltation of God. The praise of men is a tempting garment, but the child of God molds their character to humble themselves before God and man. Humility becomes the nature of the soul. Arrogance and pride are dismissed as unworthy garments. Anger, malice, and hatred do not fit the style of the Christian. Having an unforgiving heart destroys the garment of humility. The apparel of humility can only come from the wardrobe of the divine when a heart is humble before the presence of God.
What a person wears says much about their character. The garment of humility expresses the desire of the soul to be like Jesus Christ. When the Lord walked among men, everyone knew the kind of man He was by the garments He wore. This is not the outward appearance but the inward man Jesus manifested to others. He was kind and understanding, forgiving and gracious. His humility was found in Him driving the money changers from the house of His Father. The rebuke against the Pharisees did not come from hatred but humble submission to the will of His Father. Jesus wore the garment of humility and those who walk in His footsteps must wear the same clothing.
The garment of humility is only one size, but it fits everyone. It cannot be tailored to the desires of the human heart and cannot be modified. God created the garment of humility to be the same for all. Pride cannot be a part of the garment. Human wisdom will not alter its character. Humility begins with submission to the will of the Father. It requires emptying the soul of what is desired in man to accept the rule of God first. Submission is the thread permeating the garment. Only when a man allows the kingship of Christ to rule the heart will the armor of God fit like a garment of humility. This garment will protect the child of God from the wiles of the devil, warm the heart with the love of God, and show the world the power of salvation in Jesus Christ. One final note about the garment of humility: it must be worn to have any value. Put on the Lord Jesus Christ with a humble heart and wear this garment each day. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord and He will lift you up.