Most of us would probably agree that humility is characterized by an absence of false pride and willful self-assertion. At a deeper level, we might even describe it as a yielding to God's will, to His wise government. In fact, spiritually considered, humility could be thought of as an actual understanding of one's relationship to God; an understanding of one's true, spiritual individuality as the perfect, complete reflection of a perfect God. Indeed, it has been said that humility is to know no selfhood apart from God.
''So how can such humility help me get a job?'' someone may be asking.
Perhaps an experience of mine would illustrate.
As a new bride I moved to the town where my husband was enrolled in graduate school. It was necessary for me to be employed while he completed his education. I had a degree in journalism and had been working in a particular branch of that profession before leaving my home town.
In the new city, however, I could find no employment in my specialized field. After fruitlessly job hunting for several weeks, I settled down to doing some serious praying about the situation.
As a lifelong Christian Scientist I had learned to lean on the teachings of the Bible to guide me each day. These teachings, along with the additional insight I gained from the study of the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, n1 had always sustained me.
n1 The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science.
I recalled the account in the Old Testament of the widow who went to Elisha, the prophet, and asked him for help because her creditor was going to take away her sons. The prophet asked her what she had in the house, and she replied that there was only one flask of oil. He instructed her to borrow vessels and pour her oil into them. She was obedient, and there was enough oil to fill every vessel. It flowed continuously until she had enough so that she could pay her creditor. And there was oil left over for her and her sons to live on. n2
n2 See II Kings 4:1-7.
In prayer I humbly asked God to show me what I had ''in the house'' - that is , what other training or talents I might have that would help me and a potential employer as well. At the same time I was acknowledging the spiritual fact that as a child of God I was forever occupied in expressing the lovely, eternal qualities of my Father-Mother; that I was inseparable from Him as His reflection.
Since I had been a clerk in a department store one summer, I went to various stores in the town and made application for employment as a clerk. This was done with a feeling of humility and gratitude, and with confidence that I was following God's direction.
In an article called ''Angels'' Mrs. Eddy writes: ''God gives you His spiritual ideas, and in turn, they give you daily supplies. Never ask for to-morrow: it is enough that divine Love is an ever-present help; and if you wait, never doubting, you will have all you need every moment.'' n3
n3 Miscellaneous Writings, p 307.m
In a few days I received a call from the city's largest department store, one of the places where I had applied for work. A position had just opened that they thought I could fill because of my journalism background. I was hired the next week to edit the store's weekly employee newspaper.
The work was interesting and rewarding. Best of all, it proved to me again the rich rewards that can be harvested as we learn to listen with humility to God's direction and then follow it; as we identify ourselves as having no selfhood apart from Him.
Jesus, the master Christian and the Way-shower, said, ''I can of mine own self do nothing.'' n4 Or, as The New English Bible interprets this passage, ''I cannot act by myself.''
n4 John 5:30.
We too need to realize that we cannot truly act alone, apart from our creator , but that we can always confidently call on Him for guidance - and reap the rewards. DAILY BIBLE VERSE Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up. James 4:10