Not growing weary in doing good
I exhort the elders among you as a fellow elder and witness to the sufferings of Christ, as well as one who shares in the glory about to be revealed: Shepherd God’s flock among you, not overseeing out of compulsion but willingly, as God would have you; not out of greed for money but eagerly. 1 Peter 5:1-2 CSB
Peter continues to provide encouragement to Christians living out their faith in Asia Minor. As he addresses the church, he reminds them that they are pilgrims in this world and that they are heading to a place where they will spend eternity in the presence of God. He admonishes the leaders not to be focused on material wealth and the things of this world. Leaders should prioritize shepherding the flock. Peter’s appeal to his fellow leaders is an example of what humility should look like. Though he is an apostle who could have exerted authority, yet he humbly exhorts his fellow elders. He had been with Christ and had seen Him up close: Heard His teachings, witnessed Him performed miracles, and was with Him at Mount of Transfiguration. Yet, despite all these great experiences with Jesus, what mattered to him was to live a godly life that honors and glorifies God. This is also what he desires for his fellow elders. From the text, he describes himself as a “witness to the sufferings of Christ.” The Lord Jesus Christ could have asserted power over others yet He willingly took to Himself the punishment we deserved because of sin. Hebrews 12:2 tells us about Christ’s attitude towards the cross which should also be our attitude when we are suffering because of our faith: “For the joy that lay before him, he endured the cross, despising the shame.” Jesus’ focus on sin should motivate us to live desiring to be a witness sharing the love of Christ. Loving a Christ back should be the motivation why we are serving Him. Christ’s suffering at the cross is at the center of the Christian life and an elder must live by this principle daily and be able to help others to do as well. Knowing also that we are going to share in the glory about to be revealed, when Christ returns should also motivate us to pursue living holy lives and to place our hopes not in the things of the world but what God has in store for His children. With this in mind and looking at Christ’s example, we can remain steadfast and firm in the midst of suffering. “For consider him who endured such hostility from sinners against himself, so that you won’t grow weary and give up” (Hebrews 12:3).
Isaac De Guzman