Melania Trump Knows Her Place and So Should We

In everything, we must serve humbly as Jesus did, whether as a servant or as a king.

By Caroline D'Agati Published on November 29, 2017

We’re not always the most important person in the room, but we need wisdom to know when we are.

Melania Trump knows her place. In this video released by NBC Nightly News, Melania is seen entering the East Room at the White House to a crowd of school children making Christmas garlands. As she enters in a flowing white dress, a little boy asks, “Are you the First Lady?!” She laughs and smiles, warmly hugging the boy and all the other children. In the background, another child shouts, “She seriously looks like an angel.” The first lady then sits down with the children, smiling, asking them questions and doing Christmas crafts. Through it all, it is clear that Mrs. Trump knows what these little kids expect from the First Lady — and she delivers it beautifully.

What Mrs. Trump Teaches Us about Humility

“Knowing your place” has become an underrated virtue. If Mom or our boss told us, “Know your place!” we would rightly take offense. We would see it as a warning to pipe down and feel less important. But as the grace and dignity of the First Lady shows, knowing our place is bigger than that. On the one hand, she understands that as First Lady of the United States, she is in a position of great importance. She represents our nation to the world. Her husband is the most powerful man on Earth. In this way, she is in a position of great pride.

However, we know that to whom much is given, much is expected. With her authority comes obligation. Like a king or queen, she is both a master and servant. The First Lady cannot say or do whatever she pleases. She must perform tasks she hates. She must pose for a million photos to please the public. She must bite her tongue when others criticize her. For all we know, she have may have been exhausted that morning. She could have been up sick all night before. It didn’t matter; these children expected to come to the White House and spend time with the First Lady of the United States. She had no choice but to perform her duty and serve these children.

Mrs. Trump knows the lesson that good kings and queens have known forever: you do not belong to yourself alone. As Christians, we know this because God tells us that “The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it (Psalm 24:1).

Step out of The Spotlight Or Step up to The Plate

We all have moments in life where we must ask the role God means for us. In general, they fall into two categories: stepping out of the spotlight, or stepping up to the plate. I admit that my greater struggle is stepping out of the spotlight. I must constantly remind myself that I am not the most important person in the room.

For example, I have worked for many families over the years, taking care of kids or helping out around the house. Some of the people I’ve worked for have been important folks. I recall one morning arriving to a home after some interesting political events. My boss, who was very involved in politics, was just sitting down with his coffee and the newspaper. I desperately wanted to talk to my boss and offer my own opinions about the news of the day.

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In that moment, I realized that to insert myself into this man’s breakfast would have been rude and self-important. Generous, kind and magnanimous as my boss was, I was not there to offer my opinions on current events. I was there to take out the trash, put Band-Aids on cuts and whatever else needed to be done. No, I wouldn’t have been breaking a commandment, but to hog the spotlight would have been selfish and not serving him well. I would have been denying what God and my boss expected of me in that role.

Still at other times, God is asking us to be the most important person in the room — even when we don’t feel up to the task. Years ago, I worked as a park ranger. One day after a children’s nature walk, I was standing with a handful of children and their parents. Out of nowhere, behind us came a mother black bear with two little cubs.

Now, I’m not a bearded mountain man who’s been chasing away Grizzlies on the Alaskan Frontier since childhood. I am a five-foot-six Jersey girl with glasses and red fingernails. But funny as it is, in that moment, I was the person most qualified to protect these people who were depending on me. So I stepped up to the plate by getting in between my visitors, asking everyone to wait quietly, and bracing myself to scream and chase the bears away if need be.

God’s Expectations of Us May Be Different than Our Own

As we see throughout Scripture, God brings down Kings and nations for their pride and failure to submit to God’s will. But he also lifts up unexpected people to bring about his plans for history. Though Moses stuttered, God brought him forth to lead His people out of bondage. He used Esther, a teenage girl of a persecuted minority, to become queen and preserve the Jews. And most glorious of all, He used an infant born in an animal’s feeding trough, from a line of adulterers, murderers, and prostitutes, to be the Savior of all mankind.

God has shown us that sometimes he asks servants to become kings and kings to become servants. We must develop the wisdom and willing hearts to be what He needs us to be in each moment of our lives. If we find ourselves doubting our position of prominence, we can find wisdom in Esther 4:14. As she questions her power and hesitates to help her people, her cousin Mordecai reminds her, “And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?”

And if we find ourselves overestimating our own purpose, there is no greater instructor of humility than Jesus who asks us, “For who is greater, the one who reclines at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who reclines at the table? But I am among you as the one who serves” (Luke 22:27).

We may not always be the most important person in the room, but sometimes we are. Let us look to examples of common grace like the First Lady’s, and the wealth of Scripture to know when each is true. In everything, we must serve humbly as Jesus did, whether as a servant or as a king.

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