|Theme:||Practicing humility. Proper 26 (31)|
|Scripture:||Matthew 23:1-12 Memory Verse: For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted. Matthew 23:12 (NIV)|
Do you know anyone at your school that everyone thinks is a show off? How does that person act? Do they act like a "know it all"? Do they act like they are better than everyone else? Do they want everyone to think they are cool? When they talk, is it all about "me, me, me"? Why do they act like that? Maybe they think it will make them popular, but it is usually just the opposite. Nobody likes a show off.
Does that mean you shouldn't try to do your very best? No, there is nothing wrong with working hard to be good at something and we all like to be recognized when we do something well. But, if you show off and act like you are better than everybody else, that may hurt their feelings, and when you hurt others, that is never a good thing.
Did Jesus have anything to say about being a show off? Yes, he did. He didn't use those exact words, but in our Bible lesson today, Jesus was speaking to his disciples and a large crowd of people and he spoke to them about a group of people called Pharisees. The Pharisees were a religious group in Jesus' day who tried to obey all of God's laws. Often, they acted like they were better than everyone else.
"Don't be like the Pharisees," Jesus warned. "Everything they do is done for other people to see. They love to sit in the place of honor at banquets and in the most important seats in the synagogue; they love to be called 'teacher' by others."
What did Jesus say then about how we should act? Listen to what he said. "The greatest among you will be your servant. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted."
If we expect others to look up to us, we must never look down on them.
Father, help us to avoid the temptation of being a show off, but rather help us to be humble in your sight. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.
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