The idea of being great or achieving greatness is defined in many different ways by many people. The world many times defines greatness in the achievements of man whether it be in politics, business, sports, or the entertainment industry. Notoriety and man’s great achievements are something to be proud of but do these alone define greatness.
Webster defines greatness as “the quality of being great, distinguished, or eminent.” The world looks at greatness and focuses on an individual. In contrast, God’s idea of greatness is well defined in Mark 9:35. That verse declares:
“He sat down, called the twelve disciples over to him, and said, “Whoever wants to be first must take last place and be the servant of everyone else.”
As you can see, God’s desire is that life not be about us. He does not want us to seek glory or attention for ourselves. God wants us to be about the business of bringing Him glory by putting Him and others first. I believe that we all are called to do great things by a great God. However, that calling to do great works is rooted in the calling of servanthood.
How do we gain that mindset? First, I believe that we can achieve that mindset by settling in our hearts and minds that God and God only is the One who is truly great and worthy of praise. I love the way 1 Chronicles 29:11 describes God:
“Yours, O Lord, is the greatness, the power, the glory, the victory, and the majesty. Everything in the heavens and on earth is yours, O Lord, and this is your kingdom. We adore you as the one who is over all things.”
God is the very definition of greatness. He is truly over all things. God is the One who enables us to serve effectively and make a difference in the lives of our families and others. We must develop this mindset first.
Once that is settled, then we must empty ourselves of ourselves. Put simply, we must ask God to give us the mind of Christ. What is the mind of Christ?
“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men.” Philippians 2:5-7
The mind of Christ means that we no longer are concerned with achieving greatness for ourselves. We recognize that this life is no longer about us or serving just ourselves. The mind of Christ will enable us to serve God and others as never before. After all, Jesus did tell us in the verse above that the “first shall be last.”
This is God’s idea of greatness. I pray that God will use each of us powerfully as we pursue serving Him and others!