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'To Bless All Mankind'

Cooperation through humility

From the February 15, 2016 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel

Adapted from an article published in The Christian Science Monitor, December 1, 2015.

One of the key points in the editorial on the facing page is that Asia’s future will depend largely on how nations use their World War II history. The article also conveys some Asian nations’ recent tendency to “exploit historical wrongs to gain a geopolitical advantage” instead of promoting ideals that unite.

In praying about this, I’ve thought about when Jesus’ disciples asked him, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” He responded: “Verily I say unto you, Except ye … become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:1, 3, 4).

Our Savior taught that true greatness isn’t measured by rank, but by character, and is attained through childlike humility—expressing meekness and modesty instead of pride, and being willing to put aside self in service to others, to admit and correct one’s mistakes—even if others aren’t—and to improve and learn. Because each one of us reflects God, divine Love, everyone has the ability to understand and express humility.

Humility means accepting that we are all fully endowed and governed by the same infinite God, divine Mind, and therefore we have no need to compete for place or power. Seeking greatness in its true sense—which is goodness—enables us to reflect more of the greatness of God—to serve the greater good versus simply ourselves.

Mary Baker Eddy states: “The pride of place or power is the prince of this world that hath nothing in Christ” (The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, p. 4). Childlike humility enables us to “enter into the kingdom of heaven”—to receive the reign of God within us by putting our human will aside and instead letting our thought yield to God’s power and goodness. This helps us bring a spirit of cooperation to the table in our dealings with others.

Mrs. Eddy also explains that a selfish focus can affect national relations, too: “Competition in commerce, deceit in councils, dishonor in nations, dishonesty in trusts, begin with ‘Who shall be greatest?’ ” (Message to The Mother Church for 1902, p. 4). Humbly setting aside self-serving objectives in striving to achieve the common good supports cooperation, unity, peaceful resolution of differences, and mutual respect—helping make relations, whether between individuals or nations, more harmonious.

How can we nurture childlike humility? We can begin with a sincere desire to grow in this quality and strive to express it at every opportunity. We can also pray to God, acknowledging His supremacy and goodness. Such an understanding dissolves a self-centered focus on position or power. Because we are God’s children, it is natural for us to express spiritual qualities, including humility.

Through our prayers and sincere efforts, we can expect to progress in our own expression of meekness and unselfishness, setting an example of the cooperation and peace that such humility brings. And blessings will be felt by those around us and beyond.

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