And He began speaking a parable to the invited guests when He noticed how they had been picking out the places of honor at the table, saying to them, “When you are invited by someone to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for someone more distinguished than you may have been invited by him, and he who invited you both will come and say to you, ‘Give your place to this man,’ and then in disgrace you proceed to occupy the last place. But when you are invited, go and recline at the last place, so that when the one who has invited you comes, he may say to you, ‘Friend, move up higher’; then you will have honor in the sight of all who are at the table with you. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” (Luke 14:7-11 NASB)
Jesus told a parable to the dinner guests: when you’re invited to a wedding feast, don’t take the place of honor and then be forced to take the last place when the guest of honor arrives. Take the last place and receive honor when you’re asked to move up. He who exalts himself is humbled, and he who humbles himself is exalted.
My guess is that most of us would never assume we were to sit in a place of honor, but that is certainly not to say we would never act from a place of pride. I have rarely, if ever, experienced this kind of switch in a situation in which I’ve humbled myself. Have you? Perhaps we humble ourselves too begrudgingly? Or perhaps the exaltation occurs in God’s Kingdom and not within our worldly activities.
God values humility. He calls us to humble ourselves in every situation, even the ones in which we think we ought not. Don’t take honor for yourself. It’s not yours to take.
Honor is to be given.
God gives honor to those who display the humility He values, not to those who take honor or expect honor for themselves.
This is the opposite of human nature. Only by the grace of Christ can our character change in this way.