“But as for me, I am poor and needy; may the Lord think of me.” (Psalm 40:17)

Usually when I think of myself as “poor and needy” it is because I have done something terribly wrong made a bad decision, messed up big time, or fallen short once again.  I feel broken, impoverished, foolish, heartbroken.  I feel the need to be rescued and pulled to safety.  I have no where else to turn and I want to give up.

David must have just had one of those moments when he wrote this psalm…maybe the Lord will remember me in spite of me seems to be implied.  On the other hand, what if a person learns the art of living humbly, acknowledging a constant state of poverty?  Could this be what Jesus meant when He spoke of the “poor in spirit” in Matthew 5:3?

It does seem to me that humility is a necessary ingredient to getting along in life.  It certainly has an impact upon getting along with people.  For instance, there is a huge difference between a person who is humble because of low self-esteem verses someone who has every right to be proud and even arrogant, yet, they choose to take the one-down position.

An important way to illustrate humility is the principle that is critical to marital communication: to seek to understand before insisting upon being understood.  Taking the time to listen and fully grasp what another human being is saying both honors the other person and it keeps in check our own desire to be heard.  This is one of those skills…it seems to me…that we could use just a little more of in our world.


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