Being Human Beings
All of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. 1 Peter 3:8
When asked to define his role in a community that was sometimes uncooperative with law enforcement, a sheriff didn’t flash his badge or respond with the rank of his office. Rather he offered, “We are human beings who work with human beings in crisis.”
His humility—his stated equality with his fellow human beings—reminds me of Peter’s words when writing to first-century Christians suffering under Roman persecution. Peter directs: “All of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble” (1 Peter 3:8). Perhaps Peter was saying that the best response to humans in crisis is to be human, to be aware that we are all the same. After all, isn’t that what God Himself did when He sent His Son—became human in order to help us? (Phil. 2:7).
Gazing only at the core of our fallen hearts, it’s tempting to disdain our human status. But what if we consider our humanness to be part of our offering in our world? Jesus teaches us how to live fully human, as servants recognizing we are all the same. “Human” is how God made us, created in His image and redeemed by His unconditional love.
Today we’re sure to encounter folks in various struggles. Imagine the difference we might make when we respond humbly—as fellow humans who work together with other humans in crisis.
Have you noticed that when people receive a great honor for their accomplishments they often acknowledge their humble roots? Even legendary athletes admit that they were just an everyday kid from somewhere—just like us.
Peter sees how important it is for those who know they are God’s representatives to remember who they were. In recognizing their high honor (1 Peter 2:9), Peter urges followers of Christ to remember that once they had no sense of belonging to God; once they had not received mercy (2:10). Later in the same letter he reminds those who are leaders among the Lord’s people to recognize their own accountability to God and not to lord it over those entrusted to their care (5:3).
At best we are all common folks from somewhere who have been called to love others as God has loved us.
For further study see the Discovery Series booklet The Mind of Christ at discoveryseries.org/q0209.