The Wedding Feast

Posted: February 16, 2016 in TLCC
Tags: , , , , ,

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Pride is one of the issues that we all would be facing. Whether we believe it or not, we are prone to look at the self. Jesus, instead of walking out in a party of self righteous people, told a story.

Now he told a parable to those who were invited, when he noticed how they chose the places of honor, saying to them,

“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,

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.
(Luke 14:7-9)

While we are quick to say, “hey that’s not me!”, we have to take a closer look. Try to answer the following questions and see for yourself if pride is an issue.

1. Do you long for attention?

Prideful people want the attention for themselves. They have a placard in their chest saying…”me! me! me! me!” When you hang out with your friends, what do you talk about? Isn’t the topic about you?

2. Do you become jealous or critical of people who succeed?

Prideful people are envious of the success of others. Try looking at your classmates, or your batchmates, or even your neighbors. If you are envious of their success, then pride is a problem.

3. Do you always have to win?

We usually say we are “competitive”. Prideful people can’t lose. They are sore winners. They are sore losers too.

4. Do you have a pattern of lying?

Prideful people exaggerate their stories. Hence, they lie.

5. Do you have a hard time acknowledging you’re wrong?

Prideful people don’t apologize. They would only apologize when forced into it.

6. Do you have conflict with other people?

Most of the fights come from a prideful spirit.

7. Do you cut in line?

Prideful people don’t really like following rules because they think they can do things their way.

8. Do you get upset when people don’t honor your achievement?

Prideful people get upset when what they do isn’t acknowledged. They resent people who don’t complement them for a good job.

9. Do you have an attitude of entitlement?

Prideful people always feel that the world revolves around them, that people would come near them, that people are born to serve them.

If you answer any of the questions with a “yes”, then you have a pride issue.

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Common denominator for pride is self – preoccupation. Pride wants to be the center of attention, for good or for bad. Pride looks at the self. Pride, also, is a shape shifter…it could be building up or tearing down of ourselves. According to Jason Meyer, in the book “Killjoys” (p. 10-11), he described pride as…

Building Up: Self-Exaltation, Self-Promotion, and Self-Justification

Tearing Down: Self-Degradation, Self-Demotion, and Self-Condemnation

The first three responses usually show up when we succeed and others fail. The latter three are more common when others succeed and we fail.

First, pride puts on the smug face of self-exaltation when success comes its way. Self-exaltation takes credit for the good things in our lives. Second, self-promotion is an extension of self-exaltation because it puts those good things forward so that others will give us credit for them. Third, self-justification is more specific in that it focuses on taking credit for morally good works as a way of being right before God or in the sight of others. Taking credit for being in the right makes it more likely that we will blame others for being in the wrong.

The Pharisees displayed all of these species of pride. For instance, they paraded their self-righteousness before people to get praise from others (Matt. 6:1–2). Jesus said everyone who exalts himself (like a Pharisee) will be humbled (Matt. 23:12).

These three forms of pride all propose a toast to self, celebrating and showing off our successes. And they often raise their glasses with an acute awareness of the failures of others. The Pharisees not only “trusted in themselves that they were righteous,” but they also “treated others with contempt” (Luke 18:9).

Self-degradation, self-demotion, and self-condemnation all come when the shoe is on the other less fortunate foot. They emerge as we stew over our losses and others’ successes. Rather than raising a toast to successes, these three forms of pride throw a lavish pity party. First, where self-exaltation elevates and builds up the self, self-degradation is a form of demolition which tears down the self. Second, self-demotion throws a public and pathetic party to highlight the fact that we have performed worse than others, we have it worse than others, or we have less than others. Self-demotion plans the funeral for our ego. Why would we want others to see these things? Ironically, self-demotion can be a sneaky form of self-promotion because we’re actually fishing for the affirmation and reassurance we believe we deserve. Third, self-condemnation passes judgment on us when we fall short of our own standards. Sometimes we carry out the painful judgment on ourselves. We can mentally replay poor performances in order to beat ourselves up over our failures. Self-condemnation does not feel vindicated in the sight of others, but feels shame for falling short.

So how do we fight pride? Jesus continued…

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.

For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
(Luke 14:10-11)

The answer to pride is to refocus. Instead of looking at ourselves, we look at…

#1 Jesus. He is the perfect example we can look at. He traded heaven for earth. He is the King who became a servant. He would wash the feet of the disciples. He died for us while we were still enemies with Him. Looking at the example of Christ when it comes to humility, we should emulate this Christ-like attitude.

#2 Lordship. When we know who is Lord, when we know who is the boss, we can’t be prideful. We would be humbled because we know that we really don’t have anything. Everything, including our finances, our skills, everything we have is His, not ours. So when we focus on the Lordship of Christ, we mellow down because we know who is in charge…it isn’t us.

#3 Conversion. Remember who we are before we met Christ. When we know our fallen nature, when we know we’re destined for destruction, when we know what we were back then, we would cringe at the thought of overtaking the master. Humility delights in taking a posture dependent on God. As CS Lewis said…

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Can you do me a favor? If these ideas resonate with you, would you:

• REACT. Do something.
• RESPOND. Leave a comment on this post.
• REPOST. Repost this link on Twitter, Facebook or your blog.

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