Sunday night gave me a much needed wake-up call. A couple of my friends brought me to their Christian youth service, and the message the pastor focused on gave me the clarity I’ve been praying for all summer.
He centered his talk on a a few versus of Scripture:
“When he noticed how the guests picked the places of honor at the table, he told them this parable: “When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for a person more distinguished than you may have been invited. If so, the host who invited both of you will come and say to you, ‘Give this person your seat.’ Then, humiliated, you will have to take the least important place. But when you are invited, take the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you, ‘Friend, move up to a better place.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all the other guests.” (Luke 14:7-10)
The passage takes a few reads to let it fully soak in, but the message is so worth it. The pastor used the verses to emphasize the importance of humility. It’s almost second nature for people, including myself, to try to prove themselves as worthy to others, and therefore refer to themselves as the most important person in the room. However, God asks us in the second half of the passage to humble ourselves, and therefore give others the opportunity to recognize our amazing attributes on their own.
Have you ever caught yourself asking someone else a question in hopes of sharing your own opinion instead of listening to theirs? I know I have. This metaphorically seats yourself at, “the places of honor at the table.” Tough cookies, but you’re not always going to be the most important person at the frat party or birthday brunch. If you create endless expectations for others to tell you you’re important, the only result will be constant disappointment.
I don’t consider myself more important than those around me, but I’m definitely guilty of bragging about my successes and sacrifices. Feeling proud of my accomplishments isn’t a bad thing. Losing humility in the process, however, is an entirely different story. The theme of fame changing people perfectly personifies this idea. When people forget where the line is that separates celebrating one’s blessings and acting like you’re better than everyone else, the ego takes over.
Humility has also helped my struggle with my focus on the judgement of others. Not only does it enable me to strengthen my genuine interest in others’ lives, it also relieves the pressure I feel when I assume they judge me. I’m not the center of most peoples’ attention, so that means I can take the stick out of my ass that makes me worried about looking like an idiot. If I unreasonably think people care about my life to an unhealthy degree, it makes it so much harder to let loose and enjoy my time with the people I love. Holding myself back in that way could also keep me from fostering new relationships and opportunities in life.
Going forward, I want to use these verses to take my selflessness to the next level. I’ll see what I can give to others without the hope of receiving anything in return. This bite of wisdom just refocused my energy in the most positive way!