The opposite of humility is arrogance, which is an attitude of offensive displays of superiority or self-importance. You can be confident without arrogance. Can you be a person with an attitude of humility?
Humility is often seen as being modest and a low view of one’s own importance. It could also be the experiences some people have had this year in a pandemic. A great view of humility is in Luke 2.
Joseph and Mary arrived in Bethlehem:
“and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.”
Luke 2:7 NIV
So Jesus was born in a stable – a building set apart and adapted for keeping horses. A barn. Inside was a manger which is a trough – a long, narrow, open container designed for animals to eat or drink out of. It also has been called an open receptacle, usually boxlike in shape, used mainly to hold water or food for animals. So, you could say Jesus was born in a trough.
What a humble birth!
A feeding trough in a barn is usually dark. Darkness can keep the flies away in summer. There’s not much light in a barn. So, it is interesting that Jesus – born in a dark trough – was the Light of the world. The darkness is the world we live in. The Bible says that:
“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.”
John 1:5 NKJV
Was it a coincidence – circumstances without apparent cause – that there was no room for them in the inn? In my view, no. I do not believe in coincidences. Instead, this was a demonstration of humility. To be born in a stable. This was the will of God – His good, pleasing and perfect will. No improvement can be made on the will of God (Romans 12:2 NIV Study Bible comments).
Michael W Smith wrote the Christmas song GLORIA and Mercy Me sings it. I listen to it at 100 amplitude.
“How could Heaven’s heart not break
On the day, the day that You came?
Salvation’s reason to celebrate…”
Jesus was born in a very humble place. He performed many humble acts in His short lifetime of maybe 33 years. For example, He took the form of a servant and washed the dirty feet of the disciples…even the feet of an enemy (Judas Iscariot), to give us an example of serving in humility (John 13:6-7). Then Jesus said, “I have sent you an example that you should do as I have done for you.” (v. 15) The message is to treat people the way that Jesus would treat them. Jesus definitely has the attitude of humility.
Do you practice humility every day?