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Blessed are the meek
Originally published in the April 23, 1910 issue of The Christian Science Monitor
Some one has said that two virtues not to be successfully counterfeited by hypocrisy are humility and love when these exist together, since their appearing in one character is of so exquisite effect. The wonder of Christian culture is indeed that love is found to be an essential element in all virtues. The blessedness of the meek is in their love of that which is better than worldly self-exaltation. Humility, in the beauty of holiness, is not an inert yielding of all initiative and individuality to a power against which it is vain to strive. This is the wholly human concept of meekness, and in it is involved a total misconception of the real nature of God. Man does not submit to divine decree because God is stronger than he and therefore struggle is useless. Man as indeed man, that is the image of divine Love, sees his true obedience, submission, humility, in the confiding love of the child who would not if he could choose what the father does not choose for him. Or perhaps one may say that the humble following of heavenly law—the condition of holy being, of all being that is real—is like the artist's eager love for the laws of beauty, and his long, unsparing struggle to reflect these in his work.
Humility is that condition of thought where mankind has begun to see the impossibility of any other rightness than the eternal realities of infinite Mind. It is truly the reasonable service of God. That man who still desires to have his own way, to be something in or of himself, has not learned all the lessons of meekness. There is even a stage in the growth of the individual towards the true humility in which he seems to be proud of his very meekness. This state is nevertheless a hopeful one, for it is something to confess as an ideal the utter selflessness implied in the meekness which Jesus taught and lived. He who has accepted for himself this pure lowliness of heart as the standard of Christian perfection on earth is nearer its attainment than he who still clamors for the material rights of the individual and does not behold real “rights” to obtain solely in the individual's right relation to God.