Humility

The story of Christmas is the story of true humility – The highly exalted God becoming a human being. In the story of Christmas the creator descended into his creation and became a creature himself. Scripture tells us in Isaiah 57:15 “The High and Exalted One who lives forever, whose name is Holy says this: “I live in a high and holy place, and with the oppressed and lowly of spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and revive the heart of the oppressed.” How can the highly exalted Holy One live with the lowly and oppressed? The prophet Isaiah answers the question by pointing us not only to the coming of Christ but also to his humility - call it his humiliation. He writes in Isaiah 53:7 these familiar words, “He was oppressed and afflicted, yet He did not open His mouth. Like a lamb led to the slaughter and like a sheep silent before her shearers, He did not open His mouth.” Jesus did this to demonstrate a proper attitude toward his father. Humility; therefore, from a Judeo-Christian perspective is “considered the proper attitude of human beings toward their Creator. Humility is a grateful and spontaneous awareness that life is a gift, and it is manifested as an ungrudging and unhypocritical acknowledgment of absolute dependence upon God.”[1] In view of the Christmas season true humility is “the appropriate response of the sinner in the presence of the holiness of God.”[2]

This Christmas Jesus is inviting us to humble ourselves and walk with him. We read in Matt. 11:29 “All of you, take up my yoke and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for yourselves. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” The question though is how can I incorporate humility into my daily Christian walk? Paul provides the answer for us in Phil. 2:3-11 where we read, “Do nothing out of rivalry or conceit, but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves. 4 Everyone should look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. 5 Make your own attitude that of Christ Jesus, 6 who, existing in the form of God, did not consider equality with God as something to be used for His own advantage. 7 Instead He emptied Himself by assuming the form of a slave, taking on the likeness of men. And when He had come as a man in His external form, 8 He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death— even to death on a cross. 9 For this reason God highly exalted Him and gave Him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow — of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth — 11 and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

The humility of Christ did not stop him from being bold in the face of hypocritical pretentious religion. Consequently, just because a follower of Christ is humble does mean they should forget who they are in Christ or become a doormat for others to walk on. That is not humility because there is strength in true biblical Christ like humility. The words of Paul in Col. 3:12-15 are fitting for us to consider as we celebration the humble birth of our highly exalted king of glory. Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. 13 Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. 14 Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.”

The most humble thing we can all do this Christmas is to approach a brother or sister in love and gently, kindly, lovingly, and humbly point out their sin so that we can win them back. Jesus came at Christmas as God’s gift to gently, kindly, lovingly, and humbly point out our sin so that God could win us back to himself.

I like the way Dr. Tony Evans illustrates humility in his book of illustrations. He writes, “In football, they tell the offensive line, no matter how big you are, stay low. So that you can leverage, stay low. No matter how big you get in life, stay low. No matter what title you have in front of your name, how much money you have in the bank, or how many people know who you are, stay low, The moment you use your knowledge, prestige, power, or resources to attempt to be like God, it will be made very clear, very soon, there is only one God. Humble yourself beneath His mighty hand.” That is the ministry Jesus left the church and that is the ministry of every individual follower of Christ – to humble ourselves beneath God’s mighty hand and he will transform the world through us. God uses humble people and humbles those who are proud before he uses them. Our ministry this Christmas season is to humble ourselves beneath the mighty hand of God and be used of him to bring Christ to those who need him. From my heart to your, and from my family to yours, I wish you a Merry Christmas 2015 in the name of our humble savior and Lord Jesus Christ who has called us to in humility serve him by serving others.



[1]Walter A. Elwell and Philip Wesley, Humility, 618.

[2]Walter A. Elwell and Philip Wesley, Humility, 618.