MAY 11 - Proverbs 11 and Luke 14:7-11

MAY 11 - PROVERBS 11:2 and LUKE 14:7-11
By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

"When pride cometh, then cometh shame; but with the lowly is wisdom."
Proverbs 11:2

and
"And He put forth a parable to those which were bidden, when he marked how they chose out the chief rooms: saying unto them, 
When thou art bidden of any man to a wedding, sit not down in the highest room; lest a more honorable man than thou be bidden of him; and he that bade thee and him come and say to thee, Give this man place; and thou begin with shame to take the lowest room. But when thou art bidden, go and sit down in the lowest room; that when he that bade thee cometh, he may say unto thee, Friend, go up higher; then shalt thou have worship in the presence of them that sit at meat with thee. For whosoever exalteth himselt shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted."
Luke 14:7-11
-----
Illustration with 11: The first #1 is utilized as a tall stick man representing pride, and the second #1 is a short stick man representing humility. A crude table is drawn beside them reminding me of the places they chose for themselves ... and the places that were chosen for them.
Humility is prized and rewarded by God;
Pride is abased and humbled.
-----
If your immediate response to this parable is a pat on the back for where you "seat" yourself at events and social gatherings, you're missing the point entirely.
This parable isn't about where your bottom-side sits ... it's about where your inside dwells.
Consider carefully:
One man sits in the back with a steady eye of wandering ... critiquing and "checking out"  those who sit before him. Another man sits toward the front and determines to be respectfully responsive to the speaker and listen without distraction.
Which of the men is more humble?
Which of the men is more pure?
Hmmm.
You see ... placement isn't necessarily indicative of who we think "we" are but possibly a statement and assertion of our internal desires which can be good or bad, pure or evil.
What do we think of John, the disciple Jesus loved, who was known for his proximity and intimate behavior reclining directly on Christ?
Who does he think he is?
Well .... Jesus thinks he's pretty special and prizes the relationship He has with John, as John does with him. He values John's heart and hunger for intimacy and gives him  the blessing of the "beloved" name.
That's a thought worth pondering in my book.
What should we think of Mary who got as near to Jesus as possible while Martha was humbly serving?
Who does Mary think she is?
Jesus thinks she's pretty special and asserts that she's made a wise choice both in posture and position ... better than humble hard-working Martha.
You see,
It doesn't really matter what anyone is whispering, thinking, or speculating about, my friend. It only matters what Jesus thinks and knows.
Focus on intimacy with Him; He is ultimately the only One who matters and He prizes and rewards those who desire nearness with Him.
----
God knows the intentions of our hearts and the "motives" that place us where we have placed ourselves.
The best response to dealing with pride, that I know of, is to concern ourselves first and foremost with our love for Christ and position ourselves where we enjoy intimacy with HIm ... and then to love and serve others.
Give special regard to those whom Christ would give special regard to:
-Who needs an encouraging word today? Go talk to them.
-Who seems lonely and on the fringe? Go and sit by them.
-Who is going through a hard time? Go and encourage them.
-Who needs to know that they are loved? Go and be near them.
And now we are at the heart of matters ... because it is the heart that matters.
-----
Cause my heart, Lord, to be taken with You ... so that others are drawn to You. Draw me into a deeper depth and intimacy with You so that my first and foremost thought is being near You. Cause me to consider and approach others with tenderness, gentleness, and grace ... and where my conduct has become crooked, evil, or out of sync with You, bring it to mind and show me what needs to be done to rectify the wrong and bring it into submission to You.
Become all that matters to me ...
And help me to become what matters to You, Lord.
Let me be as Your beloved one.
Amen.
----
THREE QUESTIONS:
1) What arena in your life gives you the biggest struggle with pride and how can it be dealt with in a practical way?  *Begin to deal with this area immediately and commit to three weeks of making steady changes. Note what happens on the journey; you'll find yourself blessed.
2) What thoughts or activities contribute to true humility in your life?
3) What individual would Christ have me "love on" this day?