“All of you, clothe yourselves with humility towards one another, because,
‘God opposes the proud
but shows favour to the humble.’[a]
6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. 7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:5b-7
Humility can lance the boil of anxiety and draw out it’s poison. Unless Peter’s command about anxiety is a random throw away comment, it is significant that it comes at the end of several verses about anxiety. (Just checked and I’m by no means the first to spot the connection so it’s worth exploring a bit more. For a moment I felt a flush of pride in having spotted the link between anxiety and humility on my own – then the irony hit me, and even then my ego puffed up a little at having spotted the irony:-).
So how does humility combat anxiety? Well, anxiety tries to make me and my problems the most important thing. Humbling yourself means recognising that God is most important. That doesn’t at first sight seem to make things better but here is the payoff: Where I have little or no means of securing my future, God can and will protect me with his “mighty hand”. He’s done it already in Christ, and since he cares for me that much, he will do it again and again and again. Once God is back on the throne of my life my anxieties can be cast on him rather than continue to weigh down on me. Anxiety comes from taking the weight of the world on our shoulders when it should be on Jesus’. A little humility is a great antidote to anxiety.