One of the most beautiful adornments of a Christian woman is the grace of humility. The Christmas story is jam-pack full of examples of humility for us to emulate.
“Humility is simply the disposition which prepares the soul for living on trust.”-Andrew Murray, Humility
A humble woman trusts that God is good and can be trusted with all the aspects of our lives.
“Our humility before God has no value, except that it prepares us to reveal the humility of Jesus to our fellow men.”
― Andrew Murray, Humility
How do you know if you are humble before God? The tell-tale sign: she’s humble and gracious to her fellow man. Our regard for God is seen in our treatment of others and our mistreatment of others betrays all of our claims of “loving God.”
Humility colors all of our interactions with other people. It enables graciousness, the ability to act with appropriateness and thoughtfulness in any situation. Those who’ve received grace live gracious lives.
In real life, graciousness looks like this:
A humble woman uses common courtesy. She doesn’t interrupt others because she doesn’t assume that what she has to say is so important that it must be said right now.
She doesn’t make others uncomfortable by asking probing personal questions because she doesn’t assume that people owe her an answer.
She doesn’t seek attention but rather promotes others.
She’s socially sensitive and thinks before she speaks. She considers the feelings of others. “Venting” (verbal vomiting) and telling people off is not something she does.
When she acts in less than courteous ways, she shows that she knows better by making it right and apologizing for her shortcoming.
A humble heart gives rise to kindness, courteousness, and a host of other virtues so that social graces come naturally.
Humility is one of the chief characteristics of Christ’s life in the gospels. We see humility throughout his life, and at his death, but we see it first in His birth.
We can hardly wrap our head around the fact that our King, Jesus, left his throne for a lousy stable in order to save sinful, hateful people. A humbling act for our benefit.
We see Mary’s humility as she says “Yes, Lord,” to whatever God ordained for her life. This meant misunderstanding, scandal, pain, and a life of trials for her, ending in the gruesome murder of her Son on a cross. She signed up for pain knowing that God’s ways are always higher than our plans or temporal pain.
Humility gives up it’s rights and doesn’t demand it’s own way.
Isaiah 53:6 reminds us that in our flesh, we all want our own way: “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.”
We also see Mary’s humility in her interactions with Joseph. She believes him and follows him to Egypt when he tells her he was warned “in a dream” (eye roll!) “by an angel” to flee. A proud Mary might have asserted her rights or pulled the “I’m the one God chose to carry His Son” card so you’ll listen to me. But her lifestyle of humility shines through in her interactions with her husband at home.
We see Joseph’s humility as he refused to “get even” with Mary when he found out she was expecting “miraculously.” He could have socially shamed her. But he was godly enough to refuse to give into vengeance. A humble heart is quick to protect like that. It’s the proud who loves to avenge.
We see Jesus humility in His birth. No shiny-floored birthing room. Just a dirty animal place.
And again, we see Mary’s humility as the stable-birth-room is invaded by shepherds right after she just.gave.birth.on.a.dirt.floor and we see her demeanor is not one of “give us a little space” or “who do you think you are barging in like this?” In the noise and excitement, we see she was quiet before the Lord, “pondering” all these thing in her heart.
Where do you find yourself today?
Maybe you think humility doesn’t matter too much because your moments are mundane or menial and considered “unimportant” by the world.
Did you know that the fiber of your character is being woven by every humble interaction you have with your children, your neighbor, your fellow church member, that sick parent you’re caring for?
Did you know that your influence is not determined by a spotlight on a stage or by thousands of followers on social media, but by the tiny, seemingly unimportant words and deeds of your everyday life?
Did you know that the most influential person in the Kingdom is the humblest?
That the strongest is the meekest?
That the One who sees all sees all of your unseen and unnoticed works, words, and actions that you’ve performed on His behalf?
He knows when your hands served as His hands in another’s life.
Did you know that our humble Lord will take up your cause when you are mistreated? That God resists the proud and refuses to bless the works of the self-reliant and self-serving? Call it what you will–ministry, social work, or sacrifice–if pride is present the Lord rejects it. “Pride renders humility impossible.”
“The truth is this: Pride must die in you or nothing of heaven can live in you. Under the banner of the truth, give yourself up to the meek and humble spirit of the holy Jesus. Humility must sow the seed or there can be no reaping in heaven. Look not at pride only as an unbecoming temper, nor at humility only as a decent virtue: for the one is death and the other is life; the one is hell and the other is heaven. So much as you have of pride within you, you have of the fallen angel alive in you; so much as you have of true humility, so much you have of the Lamb of God within you.”
This Christmas, we have the opportunity to deal with so many different people. We have ministry opportunities, and family gatherings, we run into friends and neighbors, and even some people we’d rather not spend time with. Let’s make humility a matter of utmost importance and prayer. Let’s let our interactions show that we are under the control of the Master and that we represent Jesus correctly.
Do you need to find humble friends?
It’s counter-cultural to seek out the meek. In our flesh, we want to be associated with the people calling the shots, the loud, assertive, flashy, and popular. But, believe me, befriending the humble woman and finding the women who are dealing humbly with their family and church members is where it’s at. You’ll rarely find them on stage or seeking the spotlight. You may not know what they are doing at all because they don’t have to announce it to everyone. You’ll know them because they’re gracious and courteous in their interactions. They’re not frazzled, but live lives of peace and contentment. They know their God and they’re servants just like Him.
Surround yourself with these lovely women. Encourage them. Learn from them. And as you ponder all the examples of humility this Christmas, ask God:
“How have my interactions with others not reflected humility and how can I make that right?”
“What steps can I take right now to put pride to death to show my love for God and to have proper relationships with others?”