In school, I remember learning about a time when a gun became a part of every soldier’s arsenal. Immediately, war strategies should have changed from the millennia-old tactic of having soldiers march in lines.
No armor could be worn to prevent bullets from penetrating. Yet instead of shielding themselves, they decided to lose the armor and make themselves even more vulnerable. They did the exact opposite of what they should have done. They should have begun hiding behind trees and rocks; they should have dug trenches. Instead, they marched directly into the fire of the enemy. The position they were in made themselves an easy target for their enemy.
As Christians, we must also be careful about the position in which we place ourselves.
In Luke 14, we are told of someone who goes to a wedding and sits in a seat of honor (like as part of the wedding party or bride and groom family) and is then asked to sit somewhere else. Weddings during those times were very similar to weddings today. The people eating closest to the bride and groom in location are usually the closest to the bride and groom in relation. They are the ones whom the bride and groom most want to see at the wedding. So the closer you are to the bride and groom, the more important you are. This man picked a place of importance and soon found out he was not as important as he thought he was. I can imagine he must have left the wedding humiliated and hurt. His hurt feelings are not the fault of the bride and groom. It is their wedding and they get to choose who is most important to them; it is the fault of the man. He thought himself more highly than he should have; he was full of pride. He positioned himself to be offended.
Jesus gives us a solution.
Pick the less honored position. When we pick the less honored position, we are in a position that would not lead to humiliation because the scenario is most likely that we will be elevated to a higher one. If we take a higher position, we will likely be brought to a lower one. What is the lowest position you can take? Well, I am glad you asked (even though you really did not because I am writing this). A servant is the lowest position, and it is a position that Jesus often calls us to take. At the final meal that Jesus has with His twelve disciples, He washes their feet. At this same meal, they argue over who will be known as the greatest disciple and will have the greatest authority in God’s coming kingdom. Jesus tells them that the greatest position to take is the position of a servant.
So often we see people in the church get offended over different things. A great way to
protect yourself from being offended is to assume the position of a servant. A church member that humbly serves those around them will be a church member not likely to become offended. Why? Because they are not thinking of themselves more highly than they ought to think; and one day, God will exalt them higher than they ever thought they could be. I have heard it said,
“You are never more like Jesus than when you are serving others,”
and I believe there is much truth there; for Jesus lived His life as a servant.