“When you are invited by someone to a wedding feast, do not sit down in a place of honor…but …go and sit in 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.”
Luke 14: 8, 10 (ESV)
The imaginary guest referred to here by Jesus, whose careless inappropriate behavior we have all regrettably encountered before, would most likely have overlooked this wise counsel from Jesus. For lacking a sense of humility and of the misguided assumption that their presence would carry the preponderance of valued individual influence in any setting, they blunder forward.
People such as this are in for a rather rude awakening, however, for what they don’t often realize is that in any public setting, it is generally just an honest conversation with some original thought and personal insight that is preferred. Consequently, it is the humble and the wise who are acknowledged and accordingly honored, for they wait upon the gentle, but weighty words of an honest conscience or the Holy Spirit to help guide their thoughts and conversation.
Why would Jesus use an example of table etiquette to press home a point of inappropriate behavior in a public setting? Because it exposes what we so often seem to forget, that we are not always who we think we are when exposed to reality and temptation. Self-aggrandizement and self-righteousness are easily perceived and consequently garner no heed and little if any respect from anyone, just an amusing degree of contempt. We should, therefore, let the Holy Spirit and our spiritual maturity guide our public and personal posture, not our egos. Our witness would certainly improve with a sense of tactical silence.
True honor only comes as others recognize your value.
“For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
Luke 14: 11 (ESV)
Dear Lord, Humility is the cornerstone of your rules of etiquette. Help us to learn our table manners well. For our food goes down much easier that way and the digestion of others will improve as well. Amen.
A F Fischer