HE WHO EXALTS HIMSELF SHALL BE DEBASED
3. At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven? And Jesus called a little child unto Him, and set him in the midst of them, and said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and 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. And who shall receive one such little child, in my name, receiveth me (Matthew 18:1-5).
4. Then came to Him the mother of Zebedee's children with her sons, worshipping Him, and desiring a certain thing of Him. And He said unto her, What wilt thou? She said unto Him, Grant that these my two sons may sit; the one on Thy right hand, and the other on the left, in Thy Kingdom. But Jesus answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of and be baptised with the baptism that I am baptised with? They say unto Him, We are able. And He said unto them, Ye shall indeed drink from my cup and be baptised with the baptism that lam baptised with, but to sit on my right hand and on my left hand, is not mine to give, but it shall be given unto them for whom it is prepared of my Father. And when the ten heard it they were moved with indignation against the two brethren. But Jesus called them unto Him and said, Ye know that the Prince of the Gentiles exercises dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister: and whosoever will be chief among you let him be your servant: even as the Son of Man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister and to give His life as ransom for many (Matthew 20: 20-28).
5. And it came to pass as He went into the house of one of the chief Pharisees to eat bread on the Sabbath day that they watched Him. And He put forth a parable to those which were bidden, when He marked how they chose out the chief rooms: saying unto them, When thou art bidden of any man to a wedding, sit not down in the highest room; lest a more honourable man than thou be bidden of him; and he that bade thee and him come and say to thee, Give this man place; and thou begin with shame to take the lowest room. But when thou art bidden go and sit down in the lowest room; that when he that bade thee cometh, he may say unto thee, Friend go up higher; then shalt thou have worship in the presence of them that sit at meat with thee. For whosoever exalteth himself shall be debased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted (Luke 14:1 & 7-11).
6. These maxims stem from the principle of humility that Jesus was constantly presenting as an essential condition for the happiness promised to the chosen of the Lord, which He presented in this manner: "Blessed be the poor inspirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven." He took a child as a symbol of simplicity of heart when He said: "The greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven shall be he who is humble and who is as a little child." That is to say, who holds no pretension to superiority or infallibility.
We find the same fundamental idea in the following maxim: He who desires to be the greatest amongst you, let him be your servant, and also in this: He that humbles himself shall be exalted and he who exalts himself shall be debased.
Spiritism confirms its theory through examples when it shows us that those who are great in the spiritual world are those who were small on Earth, and that frequently those who were great and powerful on Earth find themselves extremely small in the spiritual world. This is because on dying, Man takes with him only that which makes for greatness in Heaven, that which is never lost, which are his virtues. All earthly greatness, such as riches, titles, glory, nobleness of birth, etc., are impossible to take. On reaching the other side, if Man has nothing apart from these qualities, he finds himself destitute of everything, as a person who is ship-wrecked loses everything, even to his clothes. The only item still retained is pride, which makes the position even worse, more humiliating, when it is found that those they trod underfoot on Earth have been raised to places of glory far above.
Spiritism also shows another side of this principle within the process of successive reincarnations, when those who in one life have raised themselves to high positions, are then born into lowly conditions in a succeeding existence, if they have allowed themselves to be dominated by pride and ambition. Therefore do not seek the highest positions on Earth nor place yourself above others if you do not wish to be obliged to descend. On the contrary, seek the most humble and modest positions, seeing that God will then give you a more elevated place in Heaven if you deserve it.