Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Take the Back Seat - Martin Wiles

Series: The Road to Humility

It’s better to wait for an invitation to the head table than to be sent away in public disgrace. Proverbs 25:7 NLT

She inched through the parking lot, looking for a space—but not just any space.

Tyler Perry’s Madea wanted a space down front, so she slowly made her way up and down every aisle looking for an empty spot and waiting for someone to back out. As she did, a snobby rich woman in a fancy sports car followed her, honking her horn and screaming at her to get out of the way.

Madea, ignoring her, finally saw someone backing out. She politely stopped and waited while the woman continued to blow at her. As Madea was about to pull into the parking space, the rich woman zoomed around her and took her spot. Madea was furious, yelled at her, and told her she knew she was waiting on that spot. The rich woman ignored her and proceeded into the store.

Not one to let anyone else get anything over on her, Madea mounted a forklift that sat nearby, picked the woman’s car up, and dumped it on its roof—an action that landed her in jail.

Madea wanted the best space in the parking lot, but so did the rich woman. The scene shows human nature at its best—and worst. We typically want the best, not less. The writer of Proverbs says it’s better to take the back seat and wait for an invitation to come up front than it is to be humiliated by the host and asked to move from the front to the back. Jesus aid a similar thing hundreds of years later.

Pride, not humility, leads me to crave the best—the place that puts me above others and shines the spotlight on me. Trouble is, what appears as the best doesn’t remain the best for long. Someone more important or better liked will always displace me. And if the best is material possessions, I’ll discover they decompose just like the less-than-best stuff. Nothing is permanent; everything is temporary.

Panting for the best above others also ruins my testimony. Humility leads me to put others first and serve them. Madea could have offered the spot to the rich snob, but pride led her to take revenge instead. Jesus put others above Himself. As His followers, we should do the same.

Look for ways to put the needs of others above yours.

Prayer: Father, give us a humble spirit that allows others to take the spot before us.

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