Table #5

My wife just rolls her eyes…

Happened again to me last night. Jeanne and I were invited guests of a dear couple friend of ours to sit at a table they had purchased to hear and meet evangelist Luis Palau. This man of God is bringing his ‘Festival” to our city in 2007 and we had the opportunity to catch the vision. In attendance were the Who’s Who of our city’s Christian leaders. As we entered the doors we picked up our name tags and noticed a small “5” in the corner of both. Having been to enough of these events I knew that signified either our table number or some painfully awkward ice breaker game. Fortunately it was the former and we began the search for our seats. The event was held in the atrium of Raymond James Stadium – the sports mecca for this football crazy guy. It didn’t take us long to realize that the tables were numbered up to 100 and the lower number was closer to the stage – and that #5 was front and center. Our hosts had invited us to sit amongst some of the most influential Christian leaders in Tampa! The room was full of some of the most respected faith warriors in town. If you love to people watch like I do, you can identify with my joy. But it didn’t take long for my perspective to shift. I was in the room with some big shots, AND was sitting front and center at table #5. My pride raised it’s ugly head.

On our ride home that night the Holy Spirit used my wife to correct my pridefull perspective of an otherwise Holy Spirit filled evening. And then this morning the Holy Spirit used Matthew 26:6 to further correct me:

(Speaking about the Pharisees) “They love to sit at the head table at church dinners, basking in the most prominent positions, preening in the radiance of public flattery, receiving honorary degrees, and getting called ‘Doctor’ and ‘Reverend.’ Don’t let people do that to you, put you on a pedestal like that. You all have a single Teacher, and you are all classmates.”

Table # 5 reminded me that God hates pride – and maybe even worse, spiritual pride. Guard against this tool of Satan – the church is not immune.


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