The Way

If thou wouldst be perfect.

— St. Matthew 19:21

Let us consider the story of the rich youth who came to our Lord. We find in St. Matthew the commencement of the conversation very different from that given in the Gospels of St. Mark and St. Luke. Yet they blend perfectly.

As Jesus went out of a house, the young man came running to him, and kneeling down in the way, addressed him as “Good Master.” The words with which the Lord interrupts his address reveal the whole attitude of his being. At that moment, just as much as when in the garden of Gethsemane, his whole thought, his whole delight, was in the thought, the will, the being of his Father. To its home in the heart of the Father his heart ever turned. That was the mystery of his gladness; his life was hid with God. Every truth and grandeur of life passed before him as it was; neither ambition nor disappointment could distort them to his eternal childlike gaze; he beheld and loved them from the bosom of the Father. It was not for himself he came to the world; he came that men might know the Father who was his joy, his life. The sons of men were his Father’s children like himself: that the Father should have them all in his bosom was the one thought of his heart; that should be his doing for his Father, cost him what it might! He did not care to hear himself called good. He was there to let men see the goodness of the Father. For that he entered the weary dream of the world, in which the glory was so dulled and clouded. “You call me good! You should know my Father!’


by Jolyn Canty

“You call me good! You should know my Father!”

Being hid in Christ doesn’t mean disappearing.  Jesus knew who He was and what He was sent to do.  That is true humility: knowing who you are, your purpose, and your Creator.  If, like Jesus, we guard against flattery and recognition, and ever point our gaze to the love of our Father, we will be, as MacDonald wrote, “at home in the heart of the Father.” 

How often do we seek or desire recognition and acclaim? I am reminded of a Romanian Pastor I know, Mihai Costache. Mihai was the instrument God used to help us rescue our son from an orphanage in 1990, right after the revolution and fall of communism. He worked tirelessly to save our son, Samuel.  Whenever we would try to thank him or show appreciation, he would immediately stop us and say, “Do not say these things.  My reward is in heaven, not here.” He told me that if he received the acclaim and praise of men, that would be his only reward. 

“We must not think Pride is something God forbids because He is offended at it, or that Humility is something He demands as due to His own dignity—as if God Himself was proud. He is not in the least worried about His dignity.  The point is, He wants you to know Him: wants to give you Himself. And He and you are to things of such a kind that if you really get into any kind of touch with Him you will, in fact, be humble—delightedly humble, feeling the infinite relief of having for once got rid of all the silly nonsense about your own dignity which has made you restless and unhappy all your life.  He is trying to make you humble in order to make this moment possible: trying to take off a lot of silly, ugly, fancy-dress in which we have all got ourselves up and are strutting about like the little idiots we are. I wish I had got a bit further with humility myself: if I had, I could probably tell you more about the relief, the comfort, of taking the fancy dress off—getting rid of the false self, with all its “Look at me” and “Aren’t I a good boy?” and all its posing and posturing.  To get even near it, even for a moment, is like a drink of cold water to a man in a desert.” 
--C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity