True Self-Expression

A good deal is said and written on the subject of "selling" oneself which, when carefully considered, is seen actually to mean selling one's personality, for one's true self could not be "sold" or in any way forced upon the attention of others. Being the reflection of God, divine Mind, real selfhood requires only to be expressed. This true individuality, which constitutes real manhood and womanhood, being the manifestation of divine Love, is in the truest sense self-expressed, because it reflects the divine quality of self-expression. And as Mary Baker Eddy has written on page 340 of "Miscellaneous Writings," "Every luminary in the constellation of human greatness, like the stars, comes out in the darkness to shine with the reflected light of God."

True self-expression, then, is not aided by artifice or device of any kind, and particularly not the arts and devices taught in some schools of salesmanship. Rather does it manifest the true art of expression which results in human experience from that process of education that is analogous to spiritual enlightenment. All that means ability, capability, capacity, inspiration, freedom, and dominion, all that makes for helpful service, true achievement, and righteous success, emanates from divine Mind. There is no other source from which one may derive the assurance, the quietness, the serenity, the poise, the peace which attend those who, like the Master, are honestly able to say, "Not my will, but thine, be done." Such self-expression is accompanied by humility, and is characterized by the "simplicity that is in Christ." It does not seek to advance itself or to promote its own interests. It is not motivated by the desire for material gain, nor by any form of self-seeking. Being the offspring of divine intelligence, true self-expression knows enough to know that it cannot possibly be deprived of its rightful reward or recompense. For, as the prophet Isaiah said, "The work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever."

We of modern times know nothing of the personal appearance of Moses, Elijah, or Elisha, but we are grateful that the Old Testament contains a helpful recital of much that they did by way of proving the power and presence of God. There are, with one possible exception, no extant portraits of Jesus the Christ, but the Gospel record gives us a wonderful word picture of his character, of his true individuality. From this record we must logically conclude that he was strong, dignified, and that he had the utmost serenity and kindness of expression. Yet one cannot imagine Jesus using any artful means of drawing attention to his personality or of forcing it upon the attention of others. Nor can we believe that he made use, at any time, of personal charm to advance his own interests of for personal gain of any nature. We recall his own words, "I am among you as he that serveth."

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The Lectures
July 11, 1936

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