Humility – the cure for pride

For a woman who injured her wrist while ice-skating, pride came before a fall – literally. But prayer brought a fresh take on humility and everyone’s true nature as the reflection of God, which opened the door to healing.

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I had to learn humility the hard way! I was ice-skating with my granddaughter one evening. I am not a very good skater and I was doing my best to keep up speed and glide. At one point I noticed that the rink was populated with young people, and a little pride crept in that I was out there even though I am a grandmother.

Well, a few more turns around the rink and then down I went. My wrist was badly hurt.

My go-to in times of need has always been prayer. In this case, a wake-up call about pride was my biggest take-away from my prayers. After about two weeks, I could still not move my wrist. Then, one day in humble prayer, it came to me that all of us out there on the ice were children of God, expressing the joy, strength, and energy of divine Life. Our true nature is not defined by a certain age and personal abilities. Instead, it appears in our reflection of God’s qualities.

I was very humbled by this thought. In his book “Mere Christianity,” C. S. Lewis, the Christian apologist, refers to pride as “the complete anti-God state of mind.” It suggests the possibility of a selfhood or ego apart from God, the one true Ego. It is a way of thinking that denies the onliness and allness of infinite good.

But Christian Science explains that because God is All, the only Mind, all we can truly express is the divine Mind, which could never include a mortal ego. I reasoned that I didn’t need to suffer from an imposition on my innate Godlike thought. Such an imposition can never be inescapably attached to anyone.

At this point, I began to make real progress with movement in my wrist, and it was not long before I had complete freedom.

If we’re focused on our own perceived superiority, our own personal capabilities, we’re setting ourselves up as an entity separate from God. Mary Baker Eddy, the discoverer of Christian Science, writes several powerful passages about pride. For instance, “Remember that human pride forfeits spiritual power, and either vacillating good or self-assertive error dies of its own elements” (“Miscellaneous Writings 1883-1896, p. 268). And: “Human pride is human weakness. Self-knowledge, humility, and love are divine strength” (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 358).

Now this points to the antidote to pride: cultivating humility. We can do this by understanding God’s divine strength and allness. This naturally gives room in thought to let God be more and more important in one’s experience, to honor Him more completely.

Christ Jesus was a natural at placing God first, since he had a clear sense that God was in charge. “I can of mine own self do nothing,” he said (John 5:30). His work was always about honoring God and divine qualities, not glorifying himself. This allowed the omnipresence, the omnipotence, the omniscience of divine Love to be felt in each encounter and event. It opened up his days to unveiling God’s inexhaustible love for each of His children, proving through healing that limitation, inadequacy, and fear are powerless and have no place to exist in the infinitude of Love.

The book of Proverbs states that “pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall” (16:18). Now, in my case this was literally played out! But I like to think of pride itself as actually a fall – from loving God with complete humility. It would have us believe that our talents or insights have a source separate from divine Mind, or that we are not actually God’s reflection and are instead left to manufacture our own abilities.

But we don’t need to accept a lesser selfhood than our Godlikeness. Humbly giving all the glory to God, honoring God with all our heart and soul and mind, leaves no room for pride. Humility is our real, God-given quality. It is our natural state of thought.

As we stay alert to our motives and keep thought focused on glorifying God through expressing His qualities, we find that pride has nothing to adhere to, so it can fall away without doing harm. It melts away like an ice cube on a hot driveway when faced with the truth of our true, spiritual identity.

The Bible says, “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up” (James 4:10). Humility lifted me out of the effects of a fall on the ice, and allows each of us to recognize that all of God’s ideas express Him and show forth His glory.

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