Today’s Spiritual Food for Thought was first posted on May 12, 2013.
Spiritual Food for Thought for the Weekend
(This is a reflection on a short article that Jeremy Taylor wrote on “The Grace of Humility”)
“Coming to the End of Ourselves”
Luke 14:7-11 (ESV)
Now he told a parable to those who were invited, when he noticed how they chose the places of honor, saying to them, 8 “When you are invited by someone to a wedding feast, do not sit down in a place of honor, lest someone more distinguished than you be invited by him, 9 and he who invited you both will come and say to you, ‘Give your place to this person,’ and then you will begin with shame to take the lowest place. 10 But when you are invited, go and sit in the lowest place, so that when your host comes he may say to you, ‘Friend, move up higher.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all who sit at table with you. 11 For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
Reflect on these questions:
- Humility begins with a realistic assessment of ourselves, namely, that we are unworthy. How does this contrast with a constant emphasis on building high self-esteem in today’s culture?
- “Some people spend their time dreaming of greatness,” Jeremy Taylor observes. “Although there is nothing directly evil in this,” he goes on to say, “it is the off-spring of an inner evil.” How have your dreams of greatness been a hindrance in your spiritual life?
- We should not be ashamed of our birth, economic position, or vocation. In what ways have you been made to feel ashamed concerning those areas?
- In Luke 14:7-11, Jesus tells a parable to a group of people because he noticed how they chose places of honor for themselves. What are the lessons on humility that this passage teaches us?
Apply these thoughts to your daily life:
During this week, out of love for other people do good things for them in secret. Let your acts of kindness go unnoticed. Simply do them for the sake of others, not for the praise you would receive.
- When you receive praise, attempt to reflect it back to God.
- As you spend some time in confession, be careful not to see your faults and failings as random and sporadic actions in an otherwise good life, but rather “unite them into one continuous representation of your life.” This exercise, notes Taylor, when really applied to your soul, will be useful for increasing the grace of humility.
A final thought: Let’s come to the end of ourselves and rest at the feet of Jesus, loving and worshiping him only.
Prayer: Dear Lord, give me the courage and strength to live out my life that truly reflects your amazing love and grace. Help me to take my eyes off from myself and fix them on you instead.
Bible Reading for Today: Isaiah 54-55