Do you ever look at the lives of fellow Christ followers and marvel at what they’re doing for God? You can get into a form of hero worship when you see the impact others are having for the Kingdom. It’s easy to rejoice over the glory God is receiving through their ministry, but at the same time I sometimes get a gnawing in my soul that says I should be doing more. Of course this is often accompanied by the niggling thoughts that I could never do what they do. Forget “I can do all things through Christ” (Philippians 4:13). Apparently, that verse is for a select few according to my thinking in that moment.
The problem is, as Steven Furtick puts it, we’re always comparing our middle to someone else’s highlight reel. We’re focused on the work we are in the midst of turning into success for God’s Kingdom, but comparing it to the completion of the work someone else has already done. You can’t compare your middle to someone else’s end. It’s not a fair comparison. In fact, we shouldn’t be comparing the work God has given us to do with the work He has given to anyone else. All of us who are striving to be disciples of Christ and to further His mission are working toward a common goal. Each of us complements the other. Competition within the Kingdom should be a foreign concept. Remember, Jesus said that those who would be first must become the servant of everyone else (Luke 22:24-26). With one statement He turned completion on its head, and eliminated the concept from His Kingdom.
Once you realize you are no longer in competition with your brothers and sisters in Christ, you still must deal with the ache in your soul that screams you were made for so much more. Indeed you were. God has instilled the passion for greatness within each of us. He is great beyond our ability to fathom and He dwells within our heart. As we seek to follow Him, we cannot help but long to glorify His awesomeness. This is why we long to do great things, because He is a great God! Jesus said we would do greater things than He had done (John 14:12). We all were created for greatness and will never feel fulfilled unless we are pursuing it.
How exactly is greatness defined? It’s not about how much money you make, the size of your house, or how much stuff you acquire. Greatness is achieved by living a life that looks like Jesus. Remember how Jesus defined those he considered blessed in His sermon on the mount (Matthew 5:1-12). Greatness is all about humility and service to others. It’s about obeying the commands of Jesus and living a life of purity and intentionality for Him. Greatness has nothing to do with how many you lead or how many know your name. It’s all about how many your serve, and we can all do that.
Jesus isn’t concerned with your results or even your own highlight reel. He only cares about the state of your heart and the movement of your feet. Is your deepest desire to love and minister to the needs of others? Do your actions reflect that desire? This is the measure of true greatness: love God, hate sin, and serve others. Are you living a life of greatness today?
Are you actively engaged in serving others? If not, what’s one action you could take today to start moving in that direction? You can join the conversation by leaving a comment below.