To Older and Younger Believers
1I’m speaking to the elders among you. I was a witness of Christ’s sufferings. And I will also share in the glory that is going to come. I’m making my appeal to you as one who is an elder together with you. 2 Be shepherds of God’s flock, the believers under your care. Watch over them, though not because you have to. Instead, do it because you want to. That’s what God wants you to do. Don’t do it because you want to get money in dishonest ways. Do it because you really want to serve. 3 Don’t act as if you were a ruler over those under your care. Instead, be examples to the flock. 4 The Chief Shepherd will come again. Then you will receive the crown of glory. It is a crown that will never fade away.
5 In the same way, I’m speaking to you who are younger. Follow the lead of those who are older. All of you, put on a spirit free of pride toward one another. Put it on as if it were your clothes. Do this because Scripture says,
“God opposes those who are proud.
But he gives grace to those who are humble.” (Proverbs 3:34)
6 So make yourselves humble. Put yourselves under God’s mighty hand. Then he will honor you at the right time. 7 Turn all your worries over to him. He cares about you.
8 Be watchful and control yourselves. Your enemy the devil is like a roaring lion. He prowls around looking for someone to swallow up. 9 Stand up to him. Remain strong in what you believe. You know that you are not alone in your suffering. The family of believers throughout the world is going through the same thing.
10 God always gives you all the grace you need. So you will only have to suffer for a little while. Then God himself will build you up again. He will make you strong and steady. And he has chosen you to share in his eternal glory because you belong to Christ. 11 Give him the power for ever and ever. Amen.
12 I consider Silas to be a faithful brother. With his help I have written you this short letter. I have written it to encourage you. And I have written to speak the truth about the true grace of God. Remain strong in it.
13 The members of the church in Babylon send you their greetings. They were chosen together with you. Mark, my son in the faith, also sends you his greetings.
14 Greet each other with a kiss of friendship.
May God give peace to all of you who believe in Christ.