Put not forth thyself in the presence of the king, and stand not in the place of great men: For better it is that it be said unto thee, Come up hither; than that thou shouldest be put lower in the presence of the prince whom thine eyes have seen. –Proverbs 25:6-7, KJV
You probably remember the parable of the Wedding Feast as found in Luke 14. Jesus was basically retelling Proverbs 25 verses six and seven.
What are Solomon and Jesus telling us?
Get over yourself.
We live in a very individualistic society that says it’s okay to demand the best treatment and put yourself forward. After all, you deserve it.
But God says “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
That means to not to think of yourself more highly than you ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. (See Romans 12:3)
Just as Christ, who, though was in the form of God, did not count equality with God something to be attained, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. (See Philippians 2:6-7)
Likewise, we should not demand our own way or seek prestige, power, or popularity. (I could be a Baptist preacher with alliteration like that!)
No, we should instead put others first and then say, “We are unworthy servants; we have only done what was our duty.” (See Luke 17:10)
Then our holy King will draw us close on the last day and say, “Well done, good and faithful servant!”
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Two ladies call out to the world in Proverbs 9: Wisdom and Folly.
The difference is actually striking.
[Wisdom] has sent her young women to call from the highest places
Wisdom sent her followers to the high places, the important places, to call to others.
Did you know the Greek word for “sent” is apestalmena, where we get the word for apostle: one who is sent?
Now look at Folly:
[Folly] takes a seat on the highest places
Folly takes the highest place, the most important place.
What Is the Difference?
When done apostolically, there is humility. Wisdom does not assume superiority (even when true) over other others but serves others.
Folly assumes superiority and appropriates what is neccessary – takes the important places, often by force and/or deception. There may be a false humility that can be attractive to others, but the true motivations tend to be selfish.
“When you are invited by anyone to a wedding feast, do not sit down in the best place, lest one more honorable than you be invited by him; and he who invited you and him come and say to you, ‘Give place to this man,’ and then you begin with shame to take the lowest place. But when you are invited, go and sit down in the lowest place, so that when he who invited you comes he may say to you, ‘Friend, go up higher.’ Then you will have glory in the presence of those who sit at the table with you. For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
Luke 14:8-11, NKJV
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