Take the Low Seat
Do not put yourself forward in the king's presence or stand in the place of the great, for it is better to be told, "Come up here," than to be put lower in the presence of a noble. (Proverbs 25:6-7)
I think social media has rewired our brains for megalomania. If you don't know what megalomania is, here is Merriam-Webster's definition:
a delusional mental illness that is marked by feelings of personal omnipotence and grandeur
We have become self-exalters, puffing ourselves up on social media with pictures from the right angles and with filters and clever captions. Our addiction to the response from others fuels the drive to become more clever, more attractive, and more interesting.
It comes naturally, doesn't it?
Our obsession with taking the high seat is as old as mankind, or at least as old as sin. The fall of man was an attempt to take the high seat, to take the seat of God. We don't need digital means to try to exalt ourselves. We'll do it any way we can.
What we are really trying to do is to forge our identity externally. That is, we are trying to get other people to build our identity for us. Not only is this lazy, it's extremely dangerous. Our identity might end up hollow or we may never find it at all.
Our identity doesn't come within, though. If we search our souls long enough, we still won't find our identity because it is in fact found outside of us - just not in other people.
True identity is found when we consider ourselves relative to the Lord. Who is he, and who does that make us? It is here that we actually get down to who we really are in comparison to the universe and the one who made it. Call it cosmic perspective.
We are sinners saved by grace.
We are dust shaped into masterpieces.
We are sons and daughters of the Most High.
We are recipients of the gift of time.
We are helpless as infants, yet cared for by a King.
Now given the above, why in the world would we need to take the high seat? Why would we need to be the loudest one in the room or the one portrayed digitally from the best angles at all times? Don't we already have the high seat?
I've heard people say they're humble, and they aren't if they say so. You cannot fake humility. Humility is not rubbing dirt on yourself so you look dirty but rather opening your eyes to understand in the grand scheme of things, you are quite small and everything you have is a gift from above. We need to know this, too. God tells us how great we are by his love for us, which he exhibited on the cross. In so doing he puts the gold ring on our fingers and the best robe on our backs and the best cut of the fattened calf in front of us on our plates.
So may we learn the art of humility. May we learn to choose the low seat instead of the high. At the right time, God will say, "Come up here" - but until then, let us recline at table in whatever seat we can find.