Every conference room at work has a power seat. Power seats are the seats where the boss or the most “important” person in the room always sits. No one has to say what seat that is, it just becomes known after the first meeting in that room and from that point on this is the seat left open and reserved until the boss shows up. I have been as guilty as any manager of establishing a power seat and making it my routine to sit in the same place each time. Usually that seat is at the end of the table. However, for a dinner or gathering of many people, I was always taught that sitting in the middle of the table is the best spot because the chance to interact with others is much higher…people on your left, right, and across from you. What neither of these approaches address is the lesson of humility. What we learn through our work, societal norms, and how we are raised, does not necessarily match up with what we are taught as believers and people of faith. In fact, the lessons we are taught at work are just the opposite and cause us to struggle with our work identity and our real self. We can feel like we are living two lives and that in itself adds stress and consternation into what is already “too much”. Jesus is very straightforward on the lesson of humility and he is very clear on where to find the real power seat. He says in Luke 14: 8-11; “When you are invited to a wedding feast, don’t sit in the seat of honor. What if someone who is more distinguished than you has also been invited? The host will come and say, ‘Give this person your seat.’ Then you will be embarrassed, and you will have to take whatever seat is left at the foot of the table! Instead, take the lowest place at the foot of the table. Then when your host sees you, he will come and say, ‘Friend, we have a better place for you!’ Then you will be honored in front of all the other guests. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” There is the real power seat! Today, as you head back into meetings with your co-workers and as you walk into the meeting room think about the power seat and how you can through your actions and words bring forth a spirit of humility, cooperation and understanding of everyone on your team; recognizing those who don’t normally getting recognized and passing on the accolades to others. If you do, you will find yourself sitting in the real power seat!
Reference: Luke 14:8-11 (New Living Testament)