It's difficult to imagine someone seriously reading Christ Jesus' Sermon on the Mount without wanting a little more humility. The spirit of this sermon is in itself so totally humble that when we read, "Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth," n1 our hearts go out to God in hope of more genuine, lasting humility.
n1 Matthew 5:5.
Or at least that's what we tell ourselves. But sometimes we have to watch self-deception. "Praying for humility with whatever fervency of expression does not always mean a desire for it," warns the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy. Further on the same page she candidly observes, "We confess to having a very wicked heart and ask that it may be laid bare before us , but do we not already know more of this heart than we are willing to have our neighbor see?" n2
n2 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,m p. 8.
If this is true, what's to be done about it? Wallowing in feelings of guilt and self- condemnation never accomplished much. A steady, sincere reaching out to God, divine Love, though, is always rewarded.
Once when I was suffering from a painful physical problem, I decided to get out of the house and go for a walk to think things over. As I was walking in an area of cool green lawns and large, majestic trees, I was praying the part of the Lord's Prayer that says, "And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil." n3
n3 Matthew 6:13.
Suddenly I found myself saying, "Oh, Father-Mother, God who is Love, forgive me for believingm in evil!" Tears came to my eyes as I realized the lack of humility, the downright arrogance, I'd shown in stubbornly clinging to a cause and effect apart from God, Love. Finally I was able to humbly relax my unwise mental hold on evil, my desperate clinging to a suffering selfhood apart from God, and as I did so, the difficulty began to fade. I was soon healed.
I realized then that it can be painful and frightening to believe that one has a mind and life separate from God, divine Mind and Life. But as we acknowledge and live more unreservedly and selflessly and kind of oneness with Deity that Jesus -- the humblest of all men -- talked about and claimed for himself, we can be free of such presumptions thinking.
Surely it would only have been out of the greatest humility that John could have written, "Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is." n4
n4 I John 3:2.
As we, like John, freely admit that "now are we the sons of Gods," we'll want to deny the arrogance of a material sense of existence until we feel its heavy weight drain away from thought. Humility rushes in! We stand with heads bowed before the overwhelming fact of a divine infinitude that includes even us.
"Humility is the stepping-stone to a higher recognition of Deity," n5 writes Mrs. Eddy. And what wouldn't we give for a higher recognition of Deity?
n5 Miscellaneous Writings,m p. 1.
"We would pay anything!" we tell ourselves, "if only we had it to pay!"
Well, the heart-warming news is that humility -- and the desire for it -- is within reach of any sincere, God-loving individual. First we nurture the desire by realizing that it's given us by God, divine Mind, and then we begin to claim the divine inheritance of humility as our own. As we claim it we live it; as we live it we feel it. The haughty, painful pride of material sense disappears before a meek, willing, yearning admission that "now are we the sons of God." Humility? That's it! DAILY BIBLE VERSE So foolish was I, and ignorant: I was as a beast before thee. Neve rtheless I am continually with thee. Psalms 73:22, 2