I think there are many in the world who have experienced significant happiness in their lives even if they do not believe in Christ. Some of the best people I have ever known come from different religious traditions and belief structures, some of which do not include any concept of a Savior. But they love their families. They love their neighbors. They are honest and hardworking and humble. They are willing to see their faults and not to frantically ignore or gloss over them. They are humbly “down” as we have been discussing. And, when they are, I would suggest that they are humbly down before Christ even if they don’t know that they are.
A passage in one of C. S. Lewis’s books is instructive here. In the final book of the Chronicles of Narnia series, The Last Battle, there is an exchange between the Christ-figure, who is the lion Aslan, and a man who for all his life had been the devoted follower of a wicked and false god known as Tash. When he realized that he had been serving the wrong master, the man fell before Aslan, expecting to be destroyed. But Aslan—the “Glorious One”—“bent down his golden head and touched [the man’s] forehead with his tongue” and said:
Child, all the service thou hast done to Tash, I account as service done to me. . . . I take to me the services which thou hast done to him. For I and he are of such different kinds that no service which is vile can be done to me, and none which is not vile can be done to him. Therefore if any man swear by Tash and keep his oath for the oath’s sake, it is by me that he has truly sworn, though he know it not, and it is I who reward him.I believe that the Lord’s grace is immense enough that he blesses people with his Spirit even if they know nothing about it. The world over, there are those who are, in effect, kneeling before him even though they don’t know who he is. But he knows who they are. He knows them, and he knows their hearts. And when they or we bow in humble recognition of our faults, we bow before him and are blessed of him. ("Falling to Heaven: The Surprising Path to Happiness", James L. Ferrell p.27)