A LITTLE boy once had a large, much-loved folder in which he kept special information. He called it his ``importancy book.'' The desire to be important is not an uncommon human feeling. Can it be satisfied? Don't we often try to satisfy that craving for importance through success in our work? While success in the workplace is certainly desirable, it needs to grow out of something more than a self-willed drive for recognition, which, when won, can be a hollow achievement, leaving still the need to pursue it again and again.
Jesus, who accomplished more than anyone else, would not accept any glory for himself. At one point he said, ``There is none good but one, that is, God.''1
If a desire for importance outweighs our love of the one God, we are shutting ourselves off from the source of all true glory -- from God, divine Love -- and turning away from His presence.
It may be tempting to try to gain attention and importance through eye-catching appeal or impressive possessions. But in Psalms we read, ``Give unto the Lord, O ye mighty, give unto the Lord glory and strength.''2 And St. Paul said, ``According as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.''3
Giving all glory to God does not mean, of course, that we have no significance or individuality of our own. We have in fact a more wonderful selfhood than we ever dreamed of or aspired to. For the Bible tells us that God has made man in His own image and that we are His beloved children. Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered and founded Christian Science, writes, ``Man is the expression of God's being.''4 So all the wonderful qualities of God, such as intelligence, love, integrity, strength, goodness, beauty, joy, are ours to express in unlimited measure.
Here is a deeply meaningful career, an active one that blesses humanity, that's continuously unfolding and totally satisfying. Each of us is expressing God in an individual way. And because each individual expression of the divine nature is valuable beyond measure, there is no need to strive constantly simply in order to impress others. Mrs. Eddy writes, ``...conscious worth satisfies the hungry heart, and nothing else can.''5
But some people find it difficult to feel that they have much worth. One who bitterly castigates himself as insignificant and useless might remember that notone of God's offspring is ever useless. Through expressing more and more of the divine nature we can come to see more clearly who we really are. We can come to feel God's love and the indispensability of our individuality. We can think of God as saying to us, ``Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.''6
If God loves us, which He does as our Father and Mother, we must love ourselves, the true, spiritual self that is His image. How can we do otherwise than love what He has made in His own likeness? And as we feel this love, our lives are purified and enriched, and others see more of our true nature and worth.
As people progress through life and gain more possessions and more responsibility, do they become more important? And others, who later in life may have little worldly power or influence, are they without importance? The answer in both cases is no. All are equally valuable in the eyes of God. What is important is that each one expresses to the full the God-given qualities of wisdom, love, understanding, purity, and so forth.
For any feeling of false importance, or lack of importance, James gives us a helpful antidote: ``Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.''7
1Matthew 19:17. 2Psalms 29:1. 3I Corinthians 1:31. 4Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 470. 5Message to The Mother Church for 1902, p. 17. 6Jeremiah 31:3. 7James 4:10. You can find more articles like this one in the Christian Science Sentinel, a weekly magazine. DAILY BIBLE VERSE: What doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God? Micah 6:8