To do exploits through humility is much more important than doing exploits in arrogance or pride. It is natural and Godly for people to desire and determine to do exploits in this competitive world. This is very common with young people who are naturally endowed with zeal, the agility, and the dexterity that makes them sometimes irrational in their pursuit of achievement and success. Even the adults are not left out of this race. Aspiring to greater things are not necessarily sinful, it has to be done with caution and humility.
Therefore there is the need to define the word exploits and humility.Thesaurus defines exploits as feat, deed, heroic act or achievement. Longman Dictionary defines exploit as brave and exciting actions that people admire. Humility from Colossians 3:12 is defined as “a lowly attitude toward God; cf. Phil 2:3; 1 Peter 5:5” (Bible Knowledge Commentary/Old Testament). Humility means doing nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, it means to consider others better than you, and it means submission to one another and those who are older either physically, spiritually or those in authority.
In life, people aim at great and awesome exploits, certain achievements that will amaze others and even self, in the process of attaining these achievements, one may end up ignoring others, becoming self and goal- centred and proud. The realization of exploits such as miraculous performances, academic feat, special rank, higher qualifications, versatility in preaching which may result in crowd pulling, acquisitions of material things such as riding big cars, building of mansions, high positions in ministry or in politics etc are capable of making people proud and conceited.
Young people seem to fall prey to this temptation of pride more than the adults. This need not be so, the higher you go the humbler you should aim to become; because whatever status you attain today, someone else will attain even higher when you must have stepped down. However, true and lasting exploits comes through humility.
The phrase “Humble yourselves” (tapeinothete) may be interpreted as ‘allow yourself to be humbled.’ It is a command, not an advice. When you humble yourself under God, there is a promise condition attached to it; ‘that he may lift you up in due time.’(1 Peter 5:6).
Peter, the writer here, is an epitome of one who through humility did exploits. He followed his Master, the Lord Jesus Christ; learned and submitted to his corrections as his mentor. For this humble disposition of Peter, His Master could trust him with the keys of the Kingdom. On the day of Pentecost and in the book of Acts of the Apostles, Peter was highly honoured.
God confirmed His Word in his life with signs and wonders; and Peter’s shadow healed the sick (Acts 5:15); what an exploit! Peter, as an elder writes then to younger folks to embrace humility because ‘One may do exploits without being humble; but being humble would ultimately bring about lasting exploits.
Adenike Oladeji Rev. Dr (Mrs)