Strength and Humility

Before the teachings of Christian Science came to leaven the thought of the world, a man's sense of goodness was often measured by the amount of suffering he endured, and also by the degree to which he could efface himself, in other words, keep himself in the background. It was considered to be a deep state of humility if one kept one's self in a corner without any degree of assertion, and the more one was willing to put up with misery, sickness, and wretchedness, the more manifest his demonstration of humility was considered. The one who mistook the intent of "Thy will be done," attributed all the difficulties of the ages to God, and a willingness to resign one's self brought imaginary views of heaven nearer.

Without implying that the Christian Science understanding of humility is anything but humble and meek, it is to be said that there is in its teachings no sense of accepted weakness, or resignation to the inharmonious conditions which have characterized the attitude of spiritually aspiring Christian believers in the past. A true sense of humility certainly eliminates this mortal self; it puts aside at every turn all its temptations, jealousies, envyings, sickness, etc., the whole Pandora-box of evils, but this only gives place to a noble and inspiring concept of selfhood in the image and likeness of God. As the Christian Scientist learns something of man's God given nature and capacity, he acquires a sense of freedom from fear; he becomes more alert, courageous, and righteously self-assertive. Relying more and more upon God as his guiding Principle, he puts off the mortal self with its weakness, and puts on that sense of humility which dares to do in Christ's name. This new understanding of humility is strong and vigorous in times of need; it is not lacking or in the background when occasion arises. Jesus expressed a greater sense of humility than has any other man, and yet everything he taught and practised carried weight and effected results, because he always knew that it was God who was at the back of all he did.

In explaining the Christian Science attitude toward prayer, Mrs. Eddy says that Jesus' "humble prayers were deep and conscientious protests of Truth" (Science and Health, p. 12). Jesus did not beseech an unwilling Father to change His plans for His children, but he insisted that man in his relation to God was perfectly and wholly expressed now. He protested humbly that sickness and disease were no part of God's government, and it was his clear, courageous, and persistent perception of this fact that healed the sick. His teachings were fraught with enlightenment and foresight, and many times one word of truth from his lips healed a hitherto incurable disease. We find, however, that even one so humble as was the Nazarene rebuked severely those who sought to materialize religion, so that his humility was able to make error feel the power of Truth to destroy falsity.

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April 10, 1915

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