What’s most important to our individual spiritual growth, to following in the footsteps of Christ Jesus and living the life of a true Christian, to the successful practice of Christian healing, to the building up of our churches and fulfilling the universal mission of Christian Science, to being quietly at peace within ourselves, to feeling genuinely content with our life’s purpose and accomplishments, to being truly satisfied with who we are? Over the years, I’ve come to find that, fundamentally, nothing is more important to all of this than the special quality known as humility.
A while back, when I looked up the definition of humility in an online dictionary, I was surprised to learn that this word was in the top 10 percent of all words that the site’s users had searched. Doesn’t that hint at a yearning in our world today, something missing in the very heart of contemporary society?
Throughout the world’s predominant religious traditions, humility is regarded as an essential virtue. In Scripture, for example, we find strength, not weakness, associated with humility. The Old Testament speaks of the great leader Moses as “very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth” (Numbers 12:3). And elsewhere it says, “The Lord resists the proud; but he gives grace to the humble” (Proverbs 3:34, Brenton Septuagint Translation).