The Scramble for the Best Seats

Lou Lotz

READ : Luke 14:7-11

For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted. (v. 11)

What an embarrassment for the host of the banquet:
the guest of honor somehow winds up
in a cheap seat at the back of the room, while some
self-important nobody sits beaming at
the head table. But the host quickly puts things right.
The guest of honor is brought
forward. “Friend, move up higher.” The interloper must
surrender his seat.

Many are the ways people scramble for the best seats
at the table of life: There’s
self-promotion. Often the finest people spoil the finest
things they do because they are
over-eager for credit and praise. There’s fault-finding,
that harsh, unkind criticism that
is invariably a backhanded bid for recognition. Let’s
recognize our envious fault-finding
for what it really is: a scramble for the best seat; an
attempt to exalt ourselves by
devaluing others, to heighten our stature by lowering
theirs.

We seldom succeed at this. People invariably see though
us and recognize our motives. Life never says to the
critical and the jealous, “Friend, move up higher.” He
who exalts himself never stays long in the seat of
honor.

And how petty and small our ways of self-promotion seem
when we compare them to the ways of Christ, who said:
“The greatest among you shall be your servant” (Matt.
23:11). God help us to see that the best seat is the
seat of service.

PRAYER

Lord, I want to be your servant, nothing more,

nothing less, nothing else. Amen.