Saint Augustine once said, “Humility is the foundation of all other virtues, hence, in the soul in which this virtue does not exist, there cannot be any other virtue except in mere appearance.”
Jesus understands that you and I will struggle with humility. So, He teaches us about this virtue that carries much weight in being a Christian. One particular lesson is in Luke 14:7-14. Jesus was dining at the home of a Pharisee. He noticed how people would sit in the seats of honor near the head of the table. He saw how they chose the best seats for themselves and He took the opportunity to teach them how to exhibit unpretentious living.
To be unpretentious means that you have a humbleness about you. You have a modest view of your own importance (taken from Oxford Dictionaries).
The example Jesus gives is with a wedding invitation. When you attend the wedding, do not sit in the seat of honor. You may be asked to sit elsewhere and this would be embarrassing. Instead, take a seat at the foot of the table. Let the host seat you in a better place. You will be honored for choosing humility.
Jesus wants you to understand the trust level needed to live in such a way. When you follow Jesus, you are allowing God to position you where He wants you. You are letting God be in control of your life. This rubs your flesh the wrong way, and assumptions take place. A big assumption you (and I) tend to make is we have the “me first” attitude. We look out for what is best for ourselves before thinking of others.
It is good to remember that Jesus came to serve, rather than be served. Look at Mark 10:42-45 to learn a valuable lesson that helps in understanding Jesus’ teaching at the dinner party. “You know that the rulers in this world lord it over their people, and officials flaunt their authority over those under them. But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must be a slave of everyone else. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give His life as a ransom for many.”
There is no place in God’s Kingdom for assumptions, haughtiness, pride, arrogance.
Jesus takes this topic of unpretentious living a step farther. He turns to the host, “When you put on a luncheon or banquet, don’t invite your friends, brothers, relatives, and rich neighbors. For they will invite you back, and that will be your only reward. Instead, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. Then, at the resurrection of the righteous, God will reward you for inviting those who could not repay you.”12-14
Again, here comes the trust level. Following Christ means you will trust God with the outcome of your life and whatever rewards you deserve. You will trust God with every circumstance you face, whether good or bad.
Right now I am having to trust God. On July 1, I dislocated my shoulder. I have been in physical therapy for the last 8 weeks. This weekend I am having an MRI because my shoulder is struggling to heal. Depending what the MRI shows, I may need surgery or I continue with PT and let time heal me. Whichever way it goes, I have to trust God with an unpretentious attitude. Whichever path I will be taking, will I shine His light for all to see? Will others see Christ through me? I hope so.
You (and I) face challenges. God cares about how you handle them. Do you allow God to lead you through your circumstances? Are you listening for His voice, reading Jesus’ words in the Bible, and praying to God? Jesus did all three while He resided in this sinful world. He never broke the bond between Himself and His Father. This is what kept Him focused on His mission. This is how Jesus was able to endure the cross to save us from our sins. You can endure whatever it is you face for a better tomorrow is coming. Jesus’ resurrection guarantees that.
Today and tomorrow, live an unpretentious life with Jesus at the helm. Great things will be in store for you.
(United In Love will be taking another break. A few weeks ago I spent time with my husband. Now, I have opportunity to spend time with my daughter. Look for new blogposts in your mailbox in a couple weeks. Look for daily social media posts to keep you encouraged on Facebook and Instagram.)