1 Peter 5:5-6 “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.
Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:”
These were the verses Grace Reid read in her personal devotions. “I wonder what it means to be clothed with humility,” she thought.
As she pondered this phrase, her eyes wandered across the page to verse 4 of Chapter 3: “But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.”
“The ornament of a meek and quiet spirit,” she read again. “So our meekness is to be our ornament. Meekness and humility are very similar. I guess it means I should put on or practice humility and meekness. That’s definitely an area I struggle with.”
Grace laid her Bible on the nightstand and went to the closet, careful not to wake Faith, who was still sleeping. As she picked out her outfit, she thought more about being clothed with humility.
“This is something I want to remember throughout the day, but I often forget what I read. Dear Lord, please help me remember what I read this morning. Remind me when I am tempted to be prideful that I am to be clothed with humility.” As she prayed, an idea popped into her head.
“Why not actually put on some humility?” She almost laughed at the thought at first, but more consideration led her to act on the idea. Looking at her outfit, Grace saw a yellow sweater and brown skirt. She returned to the closet for some “humility,” a cream-colored scarf.
“This should help me remember,” Grace thought, tying the scarf in a comfortable and nice-looking arrangement. “Whenever I see my scarf, I’ll remember to be humble.
Throughout the day, Grace had various opportunities to remember the verses on humility. After breakfast, Faith, who had breakfast cleanup that week, had to go help Mrs. Reid with something. Grace looked around at the dirty dishes on the counter and in the sink. It would be a nice gesture to do them for Faith, but she really disliked doing dishes.
As she turned to leave the kitchen, another thought came into her mind. “Faith doesn’t like doing dishes any better than I do.” Grace knew she enjoyed it when her siblings did her chores to surprise her, so reluctantly she walked to the sink and turned the faucet on.
The dishes were almost all done when Faith hurried into the kitchen, prepared to tackle the dirty dishes. Her face instantly brightened when she saw Grace wiping down the now empty kitchen counter.
“Oh, Grace, you did the breakfast dishes for me! Thank you so much!”
At these words, Grace felt very pleased with herself, but as she rinsed the dishcloth, a drop of water splashed on her scarf. Immediately the pleased-with-herself feeling went away. She hadn’t done it because she wanted to. She had done it because she thought she ought to, and she almost hadn’t done it at all. “You’re welcome, Faith,” was all she answered.
After she left the kitchen, she thought about what had happened. “It really is true that we don’t have anything to be proud of. Often the deeds we do that looks good to others are done with a motive or unwillingly. Any true good in our lives comes from God.”
That afternoon, Grace sat at the kitchen table, working on her history lesson. History was an area she usually enjoyed, but the lesson today was unusually difficult. Mrs. Reid was busy, so she couldn’t ask her for help.
Hope was busily working on an English essay, writing, erasing, and re-writing. Could she help Grace with her history? “I don’t really want to ask her for help,” Grace thought, idly rolling her pencil between her fingers. “History isn’t her strong point, and it is mine. Maybe if I try harder, I can figure this out.”
For a few minutes, Grace studied the lesson, but with no progress. She just couldn’t understand the connection between the two events she had to compare. Again she thought of asking Hope for help, and again she didn’t want to.
As she thought, she fiddled with the fringe on her scarf. This brought a new thought to mind. “I don’t want to ask for help because of pride. I don’t want to admit that I don’t understand.”
Immediately a portion of one of the verses she had read that morning came to mind. “God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.”
With a prayer for grace, she turned to ask Hope for help. After only a few simple explanations, Grace understood and went to work with diligence on her assignment.
That night as Grace got ready for bed, she unwound her scarf, thinking about the lessons she had learned that day. “Thank you, Lord,” she prayed, “for the reminders You’ve given me throughout the day to remember to be humble. Help me to remember that true goodness comes only from You, and I have no right to be proud of the good that I do. And help me not to let pride stand in the way of receiving Your grace. Help me to always remember to be clothed with humility.”