We often think of humility in terms of getting down to some ones level if it is deemed inferior to our own. But getting down to the ‘level’ of someone else is not necessarily humility, we call that condescension and condescension alone is not humility. A person may be condescending with the most prideful arrogance and the word is often used in this pejorative sense.
Humble condescension lets go of dignity of the elevated position, presumes no material distinction and becomes one with the other party. Think of a dignified gentle man or lady visiting your home and getting down on the floor to interact with a child. This is the humility Christ displayed in his humiliation when he “emptied himself” of the dignity and honour of his divinity (Philippians 2:7). While remaining essentially God the Son he became the Son of God incarnate, not holding on to the dignity of deity. He become of no reputation, “being found in fashion as a man.” Furthermore, there was purpose in Christ condescending to visit humanity for He “humbled himself, and became obedient unto death.”
Psalm 113:6 presents an unparalleled act of humility on the part of God which serves to magnify the humility shown in the incarnation. The psalmist speaks of God “Who humbleth himself to behold the things that are in heaven, and in the earth!”
This is a remarkable verse. Those things which are so high above our comprehension, which are so far beyond the brightest glories of earth are objects so far below Jehovah that he must humble himself to behold them. If God humbles himself to look on perfect angels in heaven, what measure of humility must he exercise to look fallen men on earth? What is more, what measure of humility must He exercise to dwell with humanity in heaven? And what degree of humility must he exercise to lift up the poor out of the dust? Infinite humility.
If divine humility lifts up and gives of self for the promotion of others, should not this be the goal of those who have a divine and heavenly calling? This is what the Scriptures would teach us; the Christian, like his Lord is to seek the promotion of others.