Proverbs 25:6-7 (NRSV)
Verse 6Do not put yourself forward in the king's presence
Verse 7for it is better to be told, "Come up here,"
Kings are a long way away for most, if not all, of us, but still Proverbs is filled with practical truisms for daily living. With a bit of updating, we might ask: How about letting that Mom or Dad with two children in the grocery checkout line go ahead of us? When parallel parking with several empty spots at the corner, parking in the farthest spot, rather than the closest, is a kindness to those who come after us, especially those for whom parallel parking is a challenge.
Putting oneself first is always a temptation, but Jesus calls us to a different way of life, where concern for the neighbor is a first-order mark of being his disciple. In this week’s devotions, the Scripture readings and Jesus call us to live centered not in ourselves, but in our neighbor.
Lord, you know that, in Martin Luther’s words, we are far too often curved in upon ourselves. Yet you became for us the Good Neighbor and call us to be such a neighbor following your example. So guide us by your Spirit. Amen.