It’s a good thing to adore Jesus, to contemplate our salvation. We should learn to be still, and consider the great things that Christ is and has done. However, we are not helpless when it comes to fighting sin. We can come up on our own with clever ways to do right, but God’s Word faithfully makes the connections that we need between our choices and behavior. We should carefully study these connections first. It has been said that we shouldn’t treat the Bible as a bunch of things to do….. but we err in that we do not know the Scriptures.
Take humility. A pastor friend of ours was talking about humility, and pointed out that Jesus makes the same statement about humility three recorded times in Scriptures, each with a different application. That sounds promising doesn’t it? Do you need humility? Do you think of humility like I do sometimes, as a feeling that comes and goes? Want to know how to fight the pride in your life?
Here is what Jesus said here:
For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased;
and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
And here is the story he told:
And he put forth a parable to those which were bidden, when he marked how they chose out the chief rooms; saying unto them.
8 When thou art bidden of any man to a wedding, sit not down in the highest room; lest a more honourable man than thou be bidden of him;
9 And he that bade thee and him come and say to thee, Give this man place; and thou begin with shame to take the lowest room.
10 But when thou art bidden, go and sit down in the lowest room; that when he that bade thee cometh, he may say unto thee, Friend, go up higher: then shalt thou have worship in the presence of them that sit at meat with thee.
11 For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted. (Luke 14:7-11)
How many times do our children fight about where they are going to sit? We can certainly apply the principle, but before we stray too far, consider how easy it is for us to choose the best seats.
- Children wanting to sit in the front seat. (Or in the back back, or not in the middle)
- Children sitting next to mom or dad at the dinner table.
- Children sitting next to a popular friend at church.
- What are the best seats at a potluck?
- What are the best seats at a meeting? (next to the leader, perhaps?)
- Seats near the guest of honor (or a celebrity pastor/ speaker/ writer)?
- Can you think of any other ways where we or our children are tempted to choose the best seats?
Truthfully, I was blown away as I thought about deliberately cultivating humility by choosing something as simple as a place to sit. I was struck by the relevance of Jesus’ words to the conflicts with my children. So before I start considering the broader implications of choosing the best for myself, first, I want to simply think about where I sit.
I had opportunity to share the story with our children, but it is still rolling around my head weeks later.
I remembered your mentioning this during one of our child-interrupted kitchen chats… reading it now has helped me see that I have many opportunities to naturally explain these principles to the children… seating is a HUGE deal around here (and sometimes the hugeness of it does not always get the most gentle response from mom…).
Thank you for reminding me to pursue humility and to teach it to my children right where they are at…