I got some great kids. Can I brag a minute? My daughter went for her 5 year old check up. They tested her up and down. The doctor was amazed at her verbal communication skills. She tested well above average. Yep…that’s my preachers kid! She’s a talker! I love that my little girl is excelling. She does great in school. I think the sky is the limit for what she could do with her life. I don’t want her to waste any potential. I want her to be simply great!
Is it “Unchristian” to want to be great? Greatness sounds so prideful and arrogant. The problem isn’t seeking greatness but our expectations of how we get there. If greatness is a position reached by climbing over others, than yep…we got a problem. But if greatness is defined by making the most of one’s gifts and skills as we serve others…then I think God would want all of us to be great!
Matthew, Mark, and Luke each tell the same story about Jesus’ disciples argument about greatness. Seems as they were traveling they starting arguing over which disciple was the greatest. Later, Jesus calls them aside and asks them what they were talking about…like he didn’t know. Busted, they stay quiet; probably expecting to get scolded by Jesus. But Jesus doesn’t scold them. He simply points them down the only path to true greatness. “Whoever wants to be first must take last place and be the servant of everyone else.” (Mark 9:35b).
Jesus isn’t against pursuing greatness. Our problem is that we measure greatness by popularity, position, or power. Jesus measured greatness by someone’s willingness to serve. True greatness is measured by my willingness to give my best to those that require the most and may give the least.
I want my kids to use every ounce of their potential to become the greatest individuals they can possibly become. Isn’t that what every parent wants? Why wouldn’t God desire the same for us? Greatness is the goal…its how we get there and what we do once we’re there that makes the difference.
I invite you to listen to this new sermon series: Simply Great. We’ll be exploring the simple and practical ways we can reach greatness. How can we have a great church? How about a great marriage? A great family? A great community? A great work environment? Its all the same… Take a listen and let me know your thoughts.