Is it biblical Part 1
You’ve heard all of this before. If you’re going to go at all go for first place. Second place is just the first loser. Muhammed Ali often boasted “I am the greatest”. When the world says things like this, they are telling us that life is about us making our mark. It’s saying being great is about drawing attention to ourselves. They believe that greatness is fame, popularity, and wealth. Dr. Voddie Baucham describes the world’s definition of greatness for men as the three “B’s” of success. The world says for men to be successful they must be great in the boardroom, the bedroom and the ballfield. We know that the world has it wrong; in fact, it is totally backwards.
It’s sad the world is so wrong because it has caused Christian men to refrain from ever using the term. The truth is that if we challenge men to be great Men of God they recoil in fear. If we challenge them to be great godly husbands and godly fathers they will often hang their heads saying “Well I’m doing the best I can”. So we have to ask ourselves “Is it scriptural to desire to be great?”. Many would say no. Many would say that to desire greatness goes against Jesus’ teaching of humility and being a servant. No one denies that Moses was a great man. He was a great leader and a friend of God. Yet scripture also calls him the most humble man on the face of the earth. So obviously being great in the kingdom of God doesn’t mean walking around pounding your chest like a gorilla saying “I’m great”. Does that remind you of any professional athletes of our day? Being great in the kingdom means something else. So that brings us back to our original question. Is it scriptural to desire to be great?
First, let’s consider Paul’s letter to the church at Corinth. 1 Co 9:24-25 Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain [it]. And everyone who competes [for the prize] is temperate in all things. Now they [do it] to obtain a perishable crown, but we [for] an imperishable [crown]. You cannot obtain a crown by being average. Awards are not given to people who are just getting by. Paul was clearly challenging the church at Corinth, and us, to greatness.
One day two disciples came to Jesus asking about being the greatest. Mat 20:20-22 Then the mother of Zebedee’s sons came to Him with her sons, kneeling down and asking something from Him. And He said to her, “What do you wish?” She said to Him, “Grant that these two sons of mine may sit, one on Your right hand and the other on the left, in Your kingdom.” But Jesus answered and said, “You do not know what you ask. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?” They said to Him, “We are able.” Take note that Jesus didn’t chastise or condemn them for wanting to be great. He just asked the question are you willing to pay the price of greatness. In this series we will explore what it means to be great in the kingdom and how to get there.
Right Next Step
Meditate on these verses in this lesson. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you what it would take to be a great and godly you. Eph 2:10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.