Wednesday, July 18, 2007

take the lower place

Jesus tells us in the gospels that when invited to a banquet one should take the lowest seat. Jesus speaks to us in our lives; humble yourself. Do you look for great things for yourself? Don't seek them (Jeremiah; word to Baruch).

This involves any number of things, including seeing others as better than ourselves, seeing ourselves as the worst of sinners (like Paul did) and acknowledging that at times we're the weaker brother or sister.

If we focus merely on taking the lower place this can become an end in itself and can end up making us proud of ourselves; after all, I took the lowest place here. Isn't that true greatness?

But this lowering of ourselves is simply to be an acknowledgement of who we really are and who God really is. This must work its way into our minds and hearts as a part of who and what we are. And we must be in Scripture to see it, as well as seeking the face of God in Christ.

Then comes the promise that whoever humbles themselves like this will be exalted. We find this to be the case with the one who was supreme in humbling himself; now exalted to the highest place. And we in him are exalted to true greatness that is in Christ as we learn to abide in this practice and stance of humility in truth and in love.

What thoughts might you add here?

6 comments:

Dave J. said...

Saw this link on my Google homepage and thought of your post:

http://www.wikihow.com/Be-Humble

Craver Vii said...

This is one of my favorite life applications, but it's sad when it is falsely done-- to feign humility just for show.

Ted Gossard said...

Dave, Many good thoughts there on that link. Thanks.

Ted Gossard said...

Craver, Yes. And the Lord knows the hearts of people. That's hard for us to tell, except when their lives clearly do not follow suit.

NaNcY said...

it was good to be reminded of what humble is and where my focus should be. For me to focus on on God and who i really am (or what i am not) instead of the action.

Ted Gossard said...

Yes Nancy. I agree that the heart and thought ought to precede the action in logical order, and really engaging our minds to think in this way is in itself activity which is always necessary in one way or another as we read Scripture, God's word, even if that's only to be silent.