Leave Room for Humbleness

Updated: Sep 6


Again, this week we see Jesus being the example for us in a world that doesn’t value

humbleness, doesn’t value doing the right thing for others, even when it isn’t popular to do so.

Last week we heard about Jesus’ healing on the sabbath. The horror! This week, we hear about

Jesus calling for an attitude of humbleness around a banquet table. I wonder which is more

difficult for us today, living our lives with humbleness or doing what we believe to be right even

in the face of criticism? Do we spend too much time worrying about how others perceive us?

Are we always playing by the rules? Now, I’m not advocating that we all go and break the rules

that guide our civilization, but shouldn’t we have the right to examine them? Should I not bring

peace and comfort to my neighbor just because it is the sabbath? Should I take what I deserve,

or should I offer my place at the table to others? These kinds of decisions may not always be so

black and white. WWJD, it’s more than a fancy catch phrase. What would Jesus do? Jesus is an

example for us in our lives.


I just finished a couple of days of strategic planning work for my job back in Nashville. We

spent part of that time talking about the importance of language, of a mindset, that we were not

going to try anything, we were going to do it. It took me a bit to get my head around that

philosophy. I landed in a place where I was ok with it because it speaks to intentionality. Here

are our strategic goals for the next period and I’m setting my mind on getting them done, not just

committing to try. At the same time, though, it didn’t quite feel right when thinking about the

world I navigate everyday where we continually fall and get back up. Sometimes we succeed

and sometimes we fail. A world in which we don’t dare move away from expectations set forth

for us. Do we take the leap and, not only do something unexpected, but do we even have the

courage to try? Is it even possible to be so bold and say we are going to do something when so

much of the world expects something different? Jesus gives us the example of healing on the

sabbath when he knows how much controversy this will cause in the community. I can hear my

boss now saying, “Jesus didn’t try and heal the hurting on the sabbath, he just did it.” I do get

that, but I’m not willing to give up on the word try. There seems to be room left for humbleness

with the word try. “I’m not sure if I can do what I feel compelled to do right now, I worry that it

is an act that isn’t expected of me or tolerated, but I’m going to try. I’m going to give all I can to

follow in the footsteps of Jesus. Maybe that’s where my disconnect was with the words try and

do. Maybe that in-between space if filled with humbleness. I want very much to do, but I may

fail or fall short. I’m not sure the word try lessons the desire to do. I do wonder if it does leave

room for humbleness. I learned early on that I can’t do anything I want if I just work hard

enough. I’d like to have become a leading man in Hollywood and starred in Academy Award

films, but that wasn’t in the cards for me. I’m probably just way too humble! Yeah, that must be

it. Growing up, I would have liked to be a professional golfer. And, maybe I could have with

enough hard work, but it is really hard to be a professional golfer. That didn’t keep me from

trying, though. I played everyday when I was a kid. Maybe my boss is right, maybe I should

have had the do attitude from the beginning. I just don’t want my life to be hindered by an

attitude that doesn’t leave room for humbleness. Maybe I’m wrong in my thinking. You may

disagree with me – that having a do attitude is important to meeting your goals. Let’s get lunch

and talk it over.


Speaking of lunch, I love what we read in today’s Gospel about who is on our invitation list for

lunch. When extending invitations, be mindful to leave room on the list for those who cannot

repay you. We want to invite our family, friends, and colleagues to share time with us. Jesus is

asking us to also be mindful of those who cannon repay our kindness. This is another lesson in

humbleness. Jesus says to invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind and you will be

blessed. We could also invite the struggling, the lonely, the rejected among us. These gestures

leave room for blessings to flow into our lives. That must be why mentoring is such a powerful

way to help others. Giving time, support, and encouragement to others bridges the gap between

the successful business person and the young person just getting their career started. This makes

sense, right. The young person isn’t in a position to provide the same support for the seasoned

veteran. However, blessings are pretty difficult to be shared from only one side of the table. I

bet many executives in this situation find that they are blessed too by the relationship.

Humbleness works for all of us.


Try or do, just go with it. Don’t let fear rule our lives and keep us from experiencing the many

blessings to be found in our relationship with each other. I’d rather you try than to do nothing.

If you find yourself as a doer, I love it. Go for it. I love the passion and energy. Just don’t be

crushed when you fall short. That’s where humbleness strengthens us and picks us back up from

the dirt so we can try or do it again. We my fall short of being a super model, but we’re living

our lives and not bowing to the expectations the world places on us. That’s the real shame…that

we did nothing. Follow your dreams, pursue a beautiful life. Look for the accomplishments and

the humble moments. Experience them and learn from them. Then, share those experiences

with those who are next. WWJD. Jesus was never shy from pursuing the best in us, from

healing to teaching to loving. Be like Jesus. Amen

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