November 27th, 2006
Do you suffer from frequent embarrassment? Do you bumble through life from one humiliating situation to another? If so, you may not be alone. But how do you handle embarrassment? One website gives the following advice: 1. Ignore it. 2. Laugh it off. 3. Tough it out. 4. Leave the country. Jesus suggests that an attitude of humility will help you avoid embarrassments in the first place. When you’re invited to a dinner with other people, don’t assume that you’re the guest of honour. Assume that you’re the last on the invitation list. If your assumption is incorrect, then you’ll have a pleasant surprise coming your way.
Luke’s Account of the Good News — Chapter 14
14:1 He went into the house of one of the leading Pharisees on a Sabbath to eat a meal, and they were keeping an eye on him. 14:2 A man with swollen arms and legs was there. 14:3 Jesus asked the lawyers and Pharisees, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?” 14:4 They said nothing. He took the man, healed him, and let him go. 14:5 He asked them, “If your son or an ox fell into a well, who wouldn’t immediately pull him out on a Sabbath day?” 14:6 They were unable to answer.
14:7 He told a parable to those who were invited, when he noticed how they chose the best seats, 14:8 “When you are invited to a wedding reception, don’t sit in the best seat. Maybe someone more distinguished than you might have been invited, 14:9 and the person who invited both of you would come and say, ‘Make room for this person.’ Then you would be humilated and have to take the worst seat. 14:10 Instead when you are invited, go and sit in the worst seat, so that the person who invited you might come and say, ‘Friend, move up to a better seat.’ You will be honoured in the presence of everyone sitting at the table. 14:11 People who elevate themselves will be humbled, and people who humble themselves will be lifted up.”
14:12 To the person who had invited him he said, “When you put on a lunch or a dinner, don’t invite your friends, brothers, relatives, or rich neighbours. They might pay you back by returning the favour. 14:13 Instead, when you put on a feast ask poor people, disabled people and blind people. 14:14 Then you will be blessed because they don’t have the resources to repay you. You will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”
14:15 One of the people sitting at the table with him heard these things and said, “Blessed is the person who will feast in the Kingdom of God!” 14:16 But Jesus said, “A man put on a big dinner, and invited a lot of people. 14:17 He sent out his servant at dinner time to tell the invited guests, ‘Come. Everything is ready now.’ 14:18 They all began to make excuses. The first said, ‘I have bought a field, and I must go to see it. Please excuse me.’ 14:19 Another said, ‘I have bought five pairs of oxen, and I must go and try them out. Please excuse me.’ 14:20 Another said, ‘I have married a wife, so I can’t come.’
14:21 “That servant returned to tell his master these things. The houseowner was angry and said to his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in poor people, disabled people and blind people.’ 14:22 The servant said, ‘Sir, your instructions have been followed but there is still some room left.’
14:23 “The master said to the servant, ‘Go out into the highways and lanes, and force people to come, so that my house can be full. 14:24 I can tell you that none of those people who were invited will get to taste my dinner.'”
14:25 Large crowds were travelling with him. He turned and said to them, 14:26 “Whoever comes to me, and doesn’t hate father, mother, wife, children, brothers, and sisters, yes, and even life, cannot be my disciple. 14:27 Whoever doesn’t carry a cross and follow after me cannot be my disciple. 14:28 If you want to build a tower, who doesn’t first sit down and count the cost, to see if you have enough to finish it? 14:29 Otherwise, when you have laid the foundation but are not able to finish, everyone who sees will laugh at you, 14:30 saying, ‘This person started to build, but wasn’t able to finish.’ 14:31 Or what king would think of going to war against another king, without first sitting down and considering whether his ten thousand soldiers are enough to fight the army of twenty thousand coming against him? 14:32 While the other king is still a long way away, he can send a negotiator and ask for conditions of peace. 14:33 Anyone who isn’t prepared to give up everything that they have cannot be my disciple. 14:34 Salt is good, but if the salt becomes flat and tasteless, how do you flavour it? 14:35 It is no good for the soil or even the manure pile. It is thrown out. Whoever has ears to hear should listen.”
Entry Filed under: Generosity