Thinking Less

Though the Lord is great, he cares for the humble, but he keeps his distance from the proud.

Psalm 138:6 (NLT)

I was at a convention of teachers and pastors a few years back. It was a good time to network with other people, eat some good food, and listen to some good presentations. One of the presenters spoke to us about the need to be humble in our lives. But, he gave a definition of humility that had a different twist to what most of us have heard before. In my mind, humility had been that you must always put yourself secondary to everyone else – that we are somehow beneath others. However, his statement was this, “Humility isn’t thinking less of yourself. It’s about thinking of yourself less.” In other words, our attention should be on helping others, but we must also focus on caring for ourselves: take care of our health, our spiritual needs, pursue careers, etc.

So, if humility is recognizing that we must think of taking care of others needs more than satisfying our wants, then pride is the opposite. Pride means that we do what we want because it makes us feel good, or valued, or important. A prime example would be serving the homeless population. When we go out to deliver meals, socks, toiletries, and other items, are we going because it makes us feel good, or because we genuinely care for those people we are serving? A prideful person goes because they want others to see them ministering, they want recognition, they want the blessing. A humble person goes because they feel compassion towards those who have nothing and struggle with daily life.

This is why our verse today resonates so strongly with me. It states, “Though the Lord is great, he cares for the humble, but he keeps his distance from the proud.” Basically, God is telling us that our faith has nothing to do with us. It’s all about Him. Don’t get me wrong, we are blessed in our faith. We are blessed in our ministry. But, God goes deeper than the outward actions and looks at the heart. Are we serving, doing, ministering, because we are thinking of ourselves, or because the love of God compels us to do so?

Today, and every day, think of others more, and yourself less. Focus on truly caring for others, not for the benefits, but because it is the right thing to do.

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