Jesus called them together and said, “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
- Mark 10:42-45
“This is a book about giving our best and especially about doing whatever we can to help others – about Thinking Big – one of the important concepts of my life. It may also be called a book about excellence. Or about dedication.”
- Ben Carson, MD, Think Big
Roughly the first half of Dr. Carson’s book is about the lessons he learned from his mother about thinking big and stories about others who ‘thought big.’
The second half of the book explains the concept of the acronym, THINK BIG.
T = Talent
H = Honest
I = Insight
N = Nice
K = Knowledge
B = Books
I = In-Depth Knowledge
G = God
He apologizes for the chapter on God being last, as it should be first. But he sticks to his acronym in order.
You must have some type of skill or talent. It can be learned, but it is best that we are called to do that work by God. In being called to do it, we will love doing it and God’s favor will be upon us.
Being honest and having insight seem to be self-explanatory.
He uses “Nice” as a word that fits the acronym, but can be expanded to mean considerate, thoughtful, polite, congenial, etc. There are a lot of jerks that have gotten where they are by being jerks, but that just makes them jerks with money.
The next three letters tie into each other, but not entirely. We need to be knowledgeable of our chosen field, but we also need to be knowledgeable in other fields as well – those that connect to our own field and those that provide distraction from the humdrum. While I hated the second semester of Psychology, I loved the four semesters of Philosophy. I took these while pursuing an engineering degree.
I may read mostly mysteries for fun, but within that genre, I am eclectic regarding subgenres, like cozies, amateur detectives, private eyes, police procedurals, courtroom dramas, etc. I love the old authors and the new authors, learning how mysteries change over the years. That doesn’t count the thriller side of things and spy stories and adventures – all having a mystery within them, of sorts.
When I was in the military, we had one commander that required a book report each month on a non-fiction book, and we had to choose a variety of topics / genres – not all war history for example. I remember that two of my more ambitious book reports (number of pages in the books) were The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich by William Shirer (some military, but governmental intrigue mostly) and KGB: The Secret Work of Soviet Secret Agents by John Barron (their techniques, tactics, etc.). The book on the KGB was inadvertently donated to the battalion ‘library.’ When it was discovered that I had a copy of the book, it was loaned from one person to another until nobody knew who owned it anymore. I remember letting the commander, a Lt. Colonel, borrow the book and I never saw it again, although the record of one officer after another counting that book as his book of the month revealed a trail.
Finally, we get to God. If God’s plan is for us to be successful in our field, we will be, even though that may not result in monetary success. Dr. Carson, who made a lot of money, considers his success to be his reputation, standing, and developed character. In other words, his success is in the eternal struggle to love and honor God, but also to THINK BIG.
In thinking big, however, we need to look back at the quote, the first paragraph of the book. Dr. Carson focuses on helping others as being our ultimate goal. It ties into what Jesus says that to be great we must be a servant, the Scripture above.
While there is something to be said regarding the parable of the sheep and goats, our chief goal should be to grow toward being more like Jesus each day, establishing a personal relationship with Jesus that transcends all that we accomplish on this earth. And, during His earthly ministry, Jesus helped others. In a way, our relationship with Jesus is the only thing that we can take with us.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.