Today’s passage focused on an attribute that’s not the first one that comes to mind at Christmas. We think of joy, peace, and wonder. However today we discussed humility.
Pastor Ryan explained that a solid understanding of true humility this Christmas can transform not only our holiday experience but more importantly, it can be life-changing.
This passage shows three special things about humility.
1. Humility is an activity – not just an attitude. The word for humility in v. 3 simply means the sense of valuing yourself appropriately — ”counting others as more significant than ourselves.” We see this beautifully in the Christmas story. The Lord Jesus Christ, in eternity, who was in the form of God, equal with God, didn’t hold on to that position in eternity, but instead was willing to leave all of that and come down here because He knew we were hopeless in our sin. In a moment, the Lord Jesus Christ came down to a manger.
2. You’ll never get humble by focusing on humility. This is what’s so hard about humility, isn’t it? You can think you’re being humble, but you can become prideful about your humility! So how do you get out of that cycle? Christmas shows us how. In v. 7−8, we see that Jesus set aside His rights and took the form of a servant – becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on the cross. The cure for pride is not a focus on being more humble, because you’ll still be focused on yourself! The cure is a focus on others. The lesson of the manger is that the way to humility is take your eyes off yourself completely.
3. Humility is the pathway to our greatest need. Our greatest need is salvation, but we will reject His grace if we’re prideful. We’ll lie to ourselves and think we can be good enough on our own. In that sense, a lack of humility can keep us out of Heaven! The message of Christmas is a message of humility. And the message of humility is the message of salvation.
Questions for further thought and discussion:
• Have you embraced the gift Christ has offered you by setting aside your own empty boastfulness and recognizing your own needs?
• Is there strife among people in your life because you’re holding on to your own rights and agenda?
• Are there people in your life that could be blessed by your own willingness to sacrifice?