We were humbled recently by something one of our kids did that they shouldn’t have done. The details aren’t important – what’s important is that it reminded us that we are not quite as in control of things as we think we are.
It’s human nature to try to create a perfectly curated image of ourselves for the world around us (hello social media), so when a kid spoils that image by acting up, we get worried that the people who see the kid misbehaving will think less of us. That’s pride at work in our hearts, and it’s a dangerous and insidious thing.
Jesus was not worried about what people thought. He was in the form of God – he was equal with God, the creator of the entire universe – but he didn’t count that equality as something to hold onto, so he emptied it all out to take the form of a servant and be born in the likeness of men.
But he didn’t stop there. He humbled himself even further, all the way to the point of death on a cross. We get righteously indignant if someone even hints incorrectly that we did something wrong. Jesus took the punishment for everything wrong we ever did by hanging on a cross in front of a crowd who thought he was criminally guilty, and he didn’t say a word.
That’s humility. He traded his throne for a manger, humbling himself because of his great love for us. The king became a servant, lowly and mounted on a donkey, so let’s let Christmas remind us this year that we don’t always have to be right, we don’t always have to be first, and we don’t always have to be highest. In the end, Jesus’ way is best.