How would you respond if someone accused you of something you didn't do? What if you were fired from your job or shunned by your church for actions you never committed? Or perhaps simply misjudged by your peers? What attitude should Christians take when confronted with situations like these?
The apostle Paul knew a lot about being misunderstood. He writes, "Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus. He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross" (Phil. 2:5-8).
Jesus chose to become a suffering servant so that we could have eternal life. This was God's plan for Him. However, Peter could not understand the Messiah's selfless behavior, so he fought against it. He protested, "God forbid it, Lord! This shall never happened to You!" (Matt. 16:22). The fisherman's pride stood in the way of his understanding and led him to a very different response than Christ desired.
"Get behind Me, Satan!" was Jesus' immediate response—one that struck at the core of Peter's problem. God's truth always hits the mark. Peter's pride and desire to see Jesus become a reigning earthly king had surfaced, and the Lord knew He had to address the issue head-on. "You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God's interests, but man's" (v. 23).
Do you have the right attitude when it comes to following Christ? Peter had to lay down his personal desires and selfishness. Paul had to surrender his way and forego his claim to a respectable position in society. Humility in the life of the believer is the mark of greatness—not because you shine when you are humbled, but because when you submit to God's will, He shines through you.
Perhaps you are faced with a difficult situation but don't understand why God has chosen that avenue for you. Allow Him to use this time in your life to teach you how to be humble. Peter did just this. And he discovered that once humility accomplishes its perfect work, God will exalt us at the proper time (1 Peter 5:6). Blessing follows the obedience of a humbled heart.