Exalted or Humbled?
On one occasion when Jesus was going to the house of a leader of the Pharisees to eat a meal on the sabbath, they were watching him closely. Just then, in front of him, there was a man who had dropsy. And Jesus asked the lawyers and Pharisees, “Is it lawful to cure people on the sabbath, or not?” But they were silent. So Jesus took him and healed him, and sent him away. Then he said to them, “If one of you has a child or an ox that has fallen into a well, will you not immediately pull it out on a sabbath day?” And they could not reply to this.
When he noticed how the guests chose the places of honor, he told them a parable. “When you are invited by someone to a wedding banquet, do not sit down at the place of honor, in case someone more distinguished than you has been invited by your host; and the host who invited both of you may come and say to you, ‘Give this person your place,’ and then in disgrace you would start to take the lowest place. But when you are invited, go and sit down at the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he may say to you, ‘Friend, move up higher’; then you will be honored in the presence of all who sit at the table with you. For all who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” ~ Luke 14:1-11
I have a friend who really, really doesn't like to be complimented. She manages to find something wrong in many of the good and kind things she does. She would rather be in the background most of the time - making sure things happen, but not taking credit for it.
Then again I've known people who put themselves at the front of the line. Take credit for things that aren't their accomplishments. Brag. Only hang out with the "cool kids." Make sure they have the best of everything.
Sometimes maybe that person has even been me.
Humility doesn't come easy for a lot of people. Being exalted is difficult for others. But as much as my friend likes to stay in the background, I think Jesus would want to bring her front and center. Jesus loves to point out those who don't seek recognition for themselves.
I'll admit. It's hard sometimes to wait to be brought to the front of the line or head of the table. Maybe that's why so many of us try to do it ourselves. We're afraid that otherwise we won't get noticed.
But there is One who always notices and is always of a mind to exalt us if we just allow it rather than try to do it ourselves.
Holy God, move me toward justice, mercy, and humility in all my dealings with your people. Amen