It saddens me to see how little some people care about others. They are intent on getting the best for themselves even if it means manipulating others, stealing from them or lying to ruin their reputations. Why do these people think that their desires are more important than anyone else’s? Why are they willing to hurt others to reach their own goals? Is getting what they want really worth that? If we were truly worthy of the best, we shouldn’t have to resort to these tactics to get it, and if we are not worthy of the best, sooner or later, someone is going to put us in our place.
Jesus was obviously upset by similar self-serving behaviour. In Luke 14:7-11, He tells a parable in response to those who wanted to elevate their status by pushing and shoving their way to the best seats at a Sabbath meal. It would be as if they were invited to a wedding reception, but decided to take their seats at the head table which was reserved for members of the wedding party. How many times do you suppose that someone could do that without being told that they would have to move? On the other hand if the guests had chosen to sit at the equivalent of the kid’s table, surely someone would ask them to move to a place of higher honour. Jesus was warning them against the dangers of pride, something that Solomon had taught long before. (Proverbs 16:18)
This parable can apply to other situations besides seating plans. How often are you willing to do the things that don’t get recognition or appreciation but still need to be done? How often do you help someone else with difficult or unpleasant tasks? Are you willing to help even when it’s inconvenient for you? D.L. Moody once said that, “There are many of us that are willing to do great things for the Lord; but few of us are willing to do little things.” Jesus said that whatever you do for the least fortunate you do for Him. (Matthew 25:40) If we love our neighbour as ourselves, (Matthew 22:37-39) we won’t try to get ahead at their expense.