Isn’t it funny how we didn’t have to teach our kids to want to be first? I mean, my husband I don’t sit down for lunch and then declare, “I’m the winner!” if we finish our sandwich first! So if it isn’t a learned trait, then I suppose my kids must have just been born with the desire to be best, first, and most important. If you think about it, it traces all the way back to the story of Adam and Eve. They failed to trust that God’s plan for them was good, and sought to make themselves better by taking things in to their own hands. My kids are much the same, always seeking to establish their own importance no matter the situation. That’s why I thought that teaching about the parable of the lowest seat at the banquet may be helpful.
The Word: Luke 14:7-14
7 When he noticed how the guests picked the places of honor at the table, he told them this parable: 8 “When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for a person more distinguished than you may have been invited. 9 If so, the host who invited both of you will come and say to you, ‘Give this person your seat.’ Then, humiliated, you will have to take the least important place. 10 But when you are invited, take the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you, ‘Friend, move up to a better place.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all the other guests. 11 For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
12 Then Jesus said to his host, “When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or sisters, your relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. 13 But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, 14 and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”
The Main Point
In Bible times, the seating arrangement at a table was very important, and where a person sat designated how important each person was. But as we know from many other parts of the Bible, Jesus tended to turn things like that upside down! In this story, the person who pleases God isn’t the most important person, but rather the must humble person. Not to mention the fact that pointing out one’s own importance can lead to rather embarrassing experiences… Check out these verses for God’s perspective on pride and humility!
Philippians 2:3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit.
Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.
Proverbs 11:2 When pride comes, then comes shame, but with humility comes wisdom.
Ok, I’m not going to lie. This week I worked for three days and then left for a trip to my parents’ house. Sooooooooo, that means I didn’t actually have time to do any of these activities. Guess that means I’ll be “pinning” my own post for later! #bloggermomfail
- Have a super slow race! Have your kids race to a location and then announce that the child who came in last is the winner. Have them race again and do the same thing. See how long it takes for them to get the hang of what’s going on.
- Build a tower of blocks and ask your kids what they think will happen if you take a block off the top of the tower. Then ask what they think will happen if you take a block off the bottom. Boom goes the tower! It’s not always the things on top that are most important!
- Do something kind for someone else. I’m planning to have my kids draw pictures for the child we sponsor through Compassion International. It’s something we can do to encourage someone else, without expecting anything in return. Or you can check out this post about simple service projects kids can do.
- Look to water as an example – it always finds the lowest place. Make a path out of tinfoil on a slope in your yard. Put your hose at the top and send the water down. What can the water take with it? A rubber ducky? A boat? Can it knock down or get past an obstacle in its way? Water is very powerful even though it’s on it’s way to the lowest place.
- Act it out. Because acting things out is fun.
How do you encourage your kids to think of others and live a life of humility?
Want more parables? If you’re interested in the other parables we’ve already talked about, and what we’ve got planned next, here’s the list!