Now he told a parable to those who were invited, when he noticed how they chose the places of honor… Luke 14:7
To the guests at a dinner party of religious elites, Jesus tells them not to sit down at a place of honor, lest someone more distinguished than you be invited, and you will be left in shame to take the only remaining seat – the lowest place. Instead, go and sit in the lowest place. Then the host may say, “Friend, move up higher,” and you will be honored. “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” The host makes the seating arrangements.
The host leans in, likely smirking, thinking to himself, ”Whew, not about me at least.” Until…Jesus turns to the host with a word. And to you, don’t just invite friends, brothers, relatives, and rich neighbors. Don’t only associate with people who can advance your personal agenda or give you something in return. Invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind…those who can’t repay you. In this, you will be blessed.
Why do we so easily jump on board the worldly train when we know better? Just because “everyone else” is doing something doesn’t make it right or necessary. In fact, we are flat out told that we are going to live lives contrary to the culture around us. But yet, we follow. It’s like we just don’t quite believe that God is enough and that our hands and feet doing the work He calls us to do is enough. We just have to boost it a bit; give God a little hand here and there. Make that connection. Sit in that seat. Elevate our name (all for the sake of Jesus, of course, we tell ourselves).
We are called to share our faith and make disciples, no doubt. God has gifted us with passion, purpose and good work. But I think of the people I admire the most, starting with Jesus, and they never rely on self-promotion, posturing for seats of honor, or limiting their guest list to those who could elevate their personal status. They are completely confident in the power of God and the mission He has given them.
Challenge: Pray for God to give you wisdom and discernment to know the difference between doing your jobs in the places you have been called and self-promotion. Pray for God to show you where you might be trying to elevate your name instead of His.