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honor and humility
middot honor besorah honor and humility

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honor and humility

Written by  rabbi benjamin ehrenfeld

art-banquetWe usually think of honor as something that is earned. It is an honor to receive a Ph.D. in one’s field, or to be given an award for excellence in a particular area of work. The people to whom we most often give honor are those who have received “honors” for things they have done. This leads to a view that the honor we receive is based primarily on achievement.

 

Yeshua offers a radically different picture of honor:

When you are invited by anyone to a wedding feast, do not sit down in the best place, lest one more honorable than you be invited by him; and he who invited you and him come and say to you, ‘Give place to this man,’ and then you begin with shame to take the lowest place. But when you are invited, go and sit down in the lowest place, so that when he who invited you comes he may say to you, ‘Friend, go up higher.’ Then you will have honor in the presence of those who sit at the table with you. For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted. (Luke 14:8–11)

Yeshua shows us that true honor depends less on what is achieved and more on humility. If we allow space to assume that others may deserve more honor than we do, we will also find space for ourselves to receive more honor. Ultimately, we find that honor and humility are intimately connected. It is not that achievement doesn't deserve honor. However, blind focus on our own achievements can cloud our vision of the achievements of others. This is a kind of arrogance. It is worth noting that in Yeshua's story the host of the banquet determines the places of honor. In other words, it is the host (God) who determines degree of honor. God bestows honor upon those who make space for the honor of others. May we all focus on honoring others so we may find ourselves honored for what is truly our portion.

 

 

 

We usually think of honor as something that is earned. It is an honor to receive a P.H.D. in one’s field, or to be given an award for excellence in a particular area of work. As such, the people we most often give honor to are those who have received “honors” for things they have done. This leads to a view that the honor we receive is based primarily on achievement.

Yeshua offers a radically different picture of honor:

When you are invited by anyone to a wedding feast, do not sit down in the best place, lest one more honorable than you be invited by him;  and he who invited you and him come and say to you, ‘Give place to this man,’ and then you begin with shame to take the lowest place. But when you are invited, go and sit down in the lowest place, so that when he who invited you comes he may say to you, ‘Friend, go up higher.’ Then you will have honor in the presence of those who sit at the table with you.  For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted. (Luke 14:8–11)

Yeshua shows us that true honor depends less on what is achieved and more on humility. If we allow space to assume that others may deserve more honor than us we will also find space for ourselves to receive more honor. Ultimately, we find that honor and humility are intimately connected. It is not that achievement does not deserve honor. However, blind focus on one’s own achievements can cloud the vision to see the achievements of others. This is a kind of arrogance. It is worth noting that the situation Yeshua is referring to involves places of honor determined by the host of the banquet. In other words, it is the host (God) who determines degree of honor. Honor from God is bestowed upon those who make space for the honor of others. May we all focus on honoring others so we may find ourselves honored for what is truly our portion.

 

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