“For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.””
Luke 14:11 NIV
Jesus knows our tendency--my tendency for sure-- to think more of ourselves than we should.
This isn't because we aren't as good as we think we are (even though it's often the case) but because this is an arrogant place to be. It disregards our sinful motives and tendencies. It tends to disregard our need for God.
In this story, Jesus is calling out those who were angling for the most prestigious seat at the table. They cared way too much what other people thought about them. Jesus shows them that this is a pursuit fraught with potential shame and humiliation. For when someone more honored shows up, the host will ask you to move down. And there will be times when the only remaining seat is the least honorable seat. Jesus points us to a better way.
Start at the bottom. Place yourself in the least and last seat. This doesn't mean that you don't deserve more honor. It doesn't mean that you shouldn't be sitting closer to the most honorable seat. Jesus is simply saying don't seek that out. Let it be a gift. Don't make your life pursuit be what others think of you. Those rewards are empty anyway. Instead, use the opportunity to allow others to be in the spotlight.
This is freeing! No pressure to impress. Just enjoy being with people God has graced you to be with.
What's ironic is that people will actually end up thinking more of you when you live this way. People are drawn to humility and repelled by arrogance.
This attraction shouldn't surprise us. Those are qualities that come from Christ. People are drawn to Christ when he's visible in us. Shouldn't our aim be to display his glory anyway?
What is God saying to you today?
What are you going to do about it?
"Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you." Romans 12:3 NIV84