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Nov 23 Take the least important seat

2Luke 14: 8-10 “But when you are invited, go*~ and take*~ the least important place, so that when your host approaches he will say to you, ‘Friend, move up here to a better place.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all who share the meal with you.”

It is amazing how unashamedly people will tell you how great they are. The world’s wisdom is, “If no one beats your drum, beat it yourself.” But Jesus’s basic rule of wisdom was never to let honor be due to self–promotion.

Jesus saw how the people in the banquet clamored for the best seats, where they could be seen as important. The room was arranged in a large U shape, with the headmaster at the bottom of the U. Protocol in the ancient world was to give the most important person the seat nearest the headmaster.

If one’s presumption overcame his prudence, he might gamble to get closer to the more powerful or wealthier people. However, if a more distinguished person arrived, he would be embarrassed by being asked to move.

It takes a lot of arrogance to constantly exalt yourself and dominate every conversation. Such a person sincerely believes, and is quick to let you know, that he is far more intelligent than anyone else. He typically treats others as inferiors. A recent book title captures his slogan: Enough about You, Let’s Talk about Me.

Jesus’s concept of honor, given to the humble, is far from the normal way of thinking. Some attempt to give the appearance of humility, however false, to manipulate others; others misconstrue humility to mean criticizing yourself in public.

True humility only compares itself to Jesus, and those who are truly humble recognize their personal sinfulness and hold a realistic view of their limitations and capabilities to serve others. A humble person is dedicated to making others successful, meeting their needs, and helping them become all they were designed to be.

The more we benefit others, the higher our probability of being recognized in due time. Waiting to be honored by others pleases the Lord and builds good relationships.

“Dear Jesus, You showed us the way to live by being born in a lowly place and living in poor surroundings, and the Father has exalted You to the highest position of all. Help me yield my aspirations of greatness to You and simply serve others.”

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