Humility is such a rare quality in our current culture. We are encouraged to rise in power, be the first and achieve the most success. And there is a part of our human soul that screams to be important. The problem is that God values humility. This is seen so clearly in the Christmas story. Jesus arrived on the scene with humility.
Jesus took on human form as a baby and was born in Bethlehem. The prophet Micah wrote about Bethlehem: “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times” (Mic. 5:2, NIV). God chose Bethlehem, a small, insignificant village, to host the birth of His son. Bethlehem, which means “house of bread,” would be chosen to host the birth of Jesus, the bread of life. God values the least, the small and the insignificant. What humble beginnings to Jesus’ life on earth!
God calls us to follow Jesus’ example and bring our humble attitudes to every relationship. The apostle Paul wrote, “In your relationship with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage” (Phil. 2:5-6).
Ah, did you catch that phrase, “used to his own advantage”? What does that mean?
We use people for our own advantage. How? We use people when we form relationships to climb higher, be more successful or more popular.
What does an attitude of humility look like in our relationships? How can we show up with humility this holiday season?
Be the first to serve. Though He was the greatest leader of all time, Jesus came as a servant. He was the first to wash feet and the first to serve food to the crowd of thousands. Learn from His example. Maybe for you, be the first to clear the table or wash the dishes; not just at home, but at your company party. Be the first to offer help.
Ask questions so others can be the center of attention. There are two types of people in the world. The first enters a room and says with their actions and attitude, “Here I am.” The second enters a room and says with their actions and attitude, “There you are.” The “here I am” person does all the talking and seeks to share the most stories. The “there you are” person seeks to get other people talking. Which way do you want to show up this holiday season?
Let go of your expectations. Ah, that’s challenging. We have a picture in our heads of what the holidays will look like and how we will enjoy our relationships. However, it doesn’t always go as planned, and we’re left with disappointment. When we walk in humility, we surrender our expectations to the Lord. We open our hearts to love people exactly where they are, and we demand nothing in return. Much of our spiritual journey to follow Jesus in this broken world involves letting go of our expectations and instead opening our hearts to God’s plan.
This Christmas season, why not pray and ask God to help you show up with humility in your workplace, your family, your neighborhood and your church? We never look more like Jesus than when we clothe ourselves with His humility.
Becky Harling, a bestselling author, is a popular speaker at conferences, retreats and other events. She is the author of 12 books, including Our Father: A Study of the Lord’s Prayer. Becky is a certified coach with the John Maxwell Team and offers parent coaching. Becky and her husband, Steve, have traveled and ministered in over 70 countries around the world. She is the parent of four grown married kids and Mimi to 14 grandchildren. Connect with Becky at beckyharling.com, where this article originally appeared.