a question of greatness

In regard to the beatitudes of Matthew 5, Jesus said "...whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven."

Yesterday, Mike taught on the concept of greatness - how we all aspire to it (whether openly or secretly) and how we're all called to it in the kingdom of God, particularly in the age to come. I spent part of the day thinking about the tangents that this pursuit takes us down - even though the desire itself is given by God.

God uses the term 'great' in relation to meekness, and positions greatness in such as away that it's achievable for all of us, yet still a stretch no matter what our skill set. We're called to greatness.

I think it stems from our confusing greatness with better than.

When we look at what we label as great, we often are comparing it to lesser examples around it. Great becomes another word for biggest, best and first. He's a great pastor (his church is bigger than the others). He's a great dad (his kids made the honor roll). She's a great teacher (I didn't fall asleep in her class). By using this hamfisted approach to greatness, we're only great until someone greater comes along...social king of the hill with a little of Darwin's survival of the fittest (or greatest) thrown in. Please tell me that's not our calling.

If we're called to greatness, it's got to be achievable. For all of us. It would seem that the measure of greatness is held against what we could become in the spirit rather than what others have become. By that measuring stick, we could all achieve greatness.

Of course, it would be easier for most to continue trying to knock down the guy at the top.

Try to have yourself a great day.


Ronni said...

Sometimes I think greatness is walking WITH the guys at the top... instead of knocking them down. Holding them up when they are being knocked down by others...

Yes, greatness is attainable... as long as we use God's definition and not mans.

Mikie3toes said...

I like what you said about confusing greatness with better than. I think Mark 4:22 is a good verse to look at here (there really is a lot of scripture that would apply when meditating on this concept of the Kingdom). What we do now in secret, in meekness, in all humility fostered in faithfulness will truly be brought into the light.