Day 5 – Humility and honor
In recent months my husband and I found ourselves locked in struggle, praying for humility for one of our precious children. When I prayed, asking God to give our son the gift of humility, I would always add the addendum, “and please be gentle…” Humility is a tough lesson. No one wants to learn it the hard way, but sometimes those lessons stick a bit better and we all know it.
In Luke 14:7-11 Jesus gives us a parable that teaches us more than a little about honor and humility. Read Luke 14:7-11,
Now he told a parable to those who were invited, when he noticed how they chose the places of honor, saying to them, “When you are invited by someone to a wedding feast, do not sit down in a place of honor, lest someone more distinguished than you be invited by him, and he who invited you both will come and say to you, ‘Give your place to this person,’ and then you will begin with shame to take the lowest place. But when you are invited, 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 table with you. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
Interesting fact: in the Gospels, honor is often related to festivities, parties, and banquets. It is often about our comparison of honor. How often do you compare yourself to others? This world of comparison, I think, is often magnified at weddings or parties. We want to be special to the host, to matter, to be included.
Does your honor come from the seat you are given in other people’s lives or is it firmly rooted in having an honorable God dwelling in you?
Can you see the problem that might come with comparison? There will always be someone “more”, someone “better” than us. But when we lose the comparison, when we understand that someone’s specialness does not diminish our own specialness in God’s eyes, we can live free of that “honor baggage.” Free to live and serve and party at the banquet, instead of looking for the best seat.
Proverbs tells us not once but twice that humility comes before honor. (Proverbs 15:33, 18:12)
We can see that Biblically, honor and humility have an intimate relationship, even though the world defines them as polar opposites. They go together like peas and carrots, macaroni and cheese. Isn’t that just like God, confounding the world’s wisdom?
In Esther 6, Haman, the archenemy of the Jewish captives in Babylon, is obsessed with honor. In your Bible, note how often the phrase “the man whom the king delights to honor” is stated. Seriously, Haman had an honor issue. If any of you have read Esther recently, you know that it doesn’t go well for Haman. Chapter 6 is the beginning of Haman’s downfall.
Here is the thing: we know the man the king delights to honor. His name is Jesus. Poor Haman. He didn’t. He looked all over to get honor for himself. Mordecai was a threat to him, because he endlessly compared his honor with that received by others.
The King delights to honor you, girls. He honored you when He bowed His head and died to save and forgive you. We need not a single comparison in our life. We have Christ. And His honor looks a lot more like humility than we bargained for.
Thank you, Jesus, for loving me and teaching me humility in Your life and death on Earth. Let my honor be in Your death and resurrection, in being Your precious child, bought at a price. Let me share that humility and honor with those around me. Bring me to Your final banquet, where we will rejoice together for eternity. In Christ, Amen.
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