Exalted by humility
THE Master, Christ Jesus, equated humility with spiritual greatness and exaltation.1 He proved by example that renouncing pride in fame pre-pares us to receive the power of Spirit, God. In the parable of the Pharisee and publican, Jesus pointed to the humility that prompts honest self-evaluation. After commending the humble prayer of the publican and condemning the self-righteousness of the Pharisee, Jesus said, ``For every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.''2 The pride of self-righteousness denies us the opportunity to experience the cleansing and purifying touch of divine Love. But through humble prayer we can bear witness to the power and grace of Love, God, uncovering and destroying negative character traits.
Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, observes, ``One can never go up, until one has gone down in his own esteem.'' She goes on to say, ``Cherish humility, `watch,' and `pray without ceasing,' or you will miss the way of Truth and Love.''3
Humility does not set us up to be taken advantage of, nor does it involve self-condemnation. Genuine humility includes a willingness to yield to a higher sense of identity, to the reality of our being as the spiritual man of God's creating. It is pride and stubbornness that cause the human mind to cling to a materialistic sense of identity.
Christian Science teaches that the real nature of man is spiritual and perfect, expressing the fullness of God's good creation. Everyone's true identity is made in Spirit's own likeness and reflects divine qualities such as intelligence, strength, and joy. When we humble ourselves sufficiently to allow His spiritual qualities to be expressed in us, we demonstrate more of God's direction and government in our personal and business activities. Although it may appear ironic to common thinking, humility actually empowers us to meet and conquer life's many challenges.
As we draw nearer to God and bring our thought in line with this spiritual idea of reality, we also experience increased control over our bodies. We realize that the health and harmony that divine Love imparts to man are far more real than the apparent substantiality of disease. And this joyous, hope-filled realization brings to bear on our lives the divine healing power.
For several weeks I had been suffering from an intense rash. The skin was so affected by the condition that its contact with clothing produced a painful burning sensation. I was so occupied with business responsibilities, it wasn't until the condition got very painful that I turned to prayer in order to heal it.
As a Christian Scientist I had proved on innumerable occasions that prayer is a powerful healing agent. Yet in this instance I felt frustrated because my prayers didn't seem effective. I found, though, that this was another lesson in humility that I needed to learn.
I felt such joy and hope one evening when I finally turned wholeheartedly to divine Love. After honestly facing up to certain sins and humbly seeking Christ's cleansing, I was lifted by my prayers to a higher view of God and man. In a small degree I perceived the allness of infinite good, God, and my true existence as His spiritual, sinless child. This gave me a wonderful feeling of being wrapped in God's loving presence, and I also felt gratitude for the purifying touch of His Christ.
I woke up the following morning still filled with humility and gratitude, and by lunch the painful rash was completely gone. It has been two years since the healing, and the problem has not recurred. As grateful as I was for the physical healing, more rewarding was the feeling of closeness to God that I gained.
Humility opens the way for all to healing and progress.
1See Matthew 18:4; 23:12. 2Luke 18:14. 3Miscellaneous Writings, p. 356.
You can find more articles like this one in the Christian Science Sentinel, a weekly magazine. DAILY BIBLE VERSE: Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up. James 4:10