In a recent interview, a network television journalist said it was ego that caused him to say things that weren’t true about some of his experiences as a reporter. This was a candid admission, and it provided a helpful reminder not to let a craving to feel important or superior get the better of us.
To be aware that one is being influenced by ego is a victory in itself and a step in a good direction. But sometimes that awareness is missing, and that’s where difficulties arise. It’s particularly challenging when people in positions of great responsibility in government or in any walk of life begin to feel quite certain that they’ve got all the answers.
Of course, it’s appropriate for any of us to feel valued and to know that our contribution to society is meaningful. It’s good to feel appreciation for a job well done. It’s not helpful, however, to let an inflated sense of personal accomplishment or of always being right take over.
Christ Jesus offers the solution to this false inclination. He did more to bless humanity – through his teachings and works – than anyone on earth ever has. His accomplishments were immense. Yet he said that he could do nothing of himself (see John 5:19). His words sprang from the highest understanding that God alone was his creator and the source of all that he, or anyone, could be or do. To begin to discern even a little of what he understood so clearly can be remarkably freeing and progressive.
In sharp contrast to that understanding is the mortal, materialistic sense of identity as separate from God. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes: “Mortals are egotists. They believe themselves to be independent workers, personal authors, and even privileged originators of something which Deity would not or could not create” (“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” p. 263).
The Bible’s first chapter says that man is God’s image. Therefore he originates in God alone, is governed by God, is complete in God, and derives every bit of intelligence, wisdom, creativity, and worth from God. God expresses the completeness of His nature in all His offspring in distinct and wonderful ways. All are equally blessed and valued. This is the spiritual reality of creation: God, Spirit, the one Mind and Ego, and man as the spiritual, perfect likeness of the divine Ego. Mrs. Eddy says in another of her writings, referring to God: “His creation is not the Ego, but the reflection of the Ego. The Ego is God Himself, the infinite Soul” (“Unity of Good,” p. 48).
Each of us seems to be a fleshly personality with a personal ego, trying to achieve significance in competition with other personal egos. That’s not always fun, to say the least. And to be taken in by that belief can give rise either to a false, inflated sense of oneself or to a deflated feeling of unhappiness and frustration. What a relief to begin to see that all of that belief can disappear, because it’s not a true part of anyone’s makeup as God’s cherished image. “Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth,” Jesus taught (Matthew 5:5).
In thinking about issues on the national and international scene, I’ve found it helpful to affirm in prayer that those in positions of authority truly reflect the divine Mind, the Mind that was in Christ; that they’re governed by God’s will, not by stubborn personal will or ego. A New Testament writer says, “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; for kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty” (I Timothy 2:1, 2).
It’s not always easy in the push and pull of worldly influences to achieve a higher standpoint on this subject. Yet it’s natural to do so, an outgrowth of the reality of creator and creation. Despite struggles with a personal sense of ego, we can all naturally progress to a better concept of where worth comes from and what makes each one of us significant.