The Simplicity of Greatness

G.O.A.T—Greatest of all Time.  It took me a while to figure out the meaning of the acronym GOAT.  I was shocked to find it means “greatest of all time”.  To be “the goat” meant something totally different when I was growing up.  Today, arguments rage on sports news and talk shows as to who is the greatest and what makes one great.  Is it LeBron or Jordan, Ruth or Cobb, Ford or Edison?  What weighs heaviest in the “great” debate?  Is it the number of titles, accumulation of stats, total awards?  If we can make greatness complex, we will do it.
Fortunately, Jesus made greatness very simple for his disciples and those who would follow in his great footsteps and sit at his wonderful feet.  He said, “You want to be great, then you must serve.” (Pause for Thought:  When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place.  “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them.  “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so for that is what I am.  Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet.  I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.  I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him.  Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.”  John 13:12-17)

The Institute in Basic Life Principles explains greatness this way, “Greatness is not a goal to be sought after but a by-product of learning how to serve.”  As people created by God in His image, we do desire greatness in our visions for ourselves, our children, our church, etc.  It stands to reason, since we were created with a purpose by our great Father God.  However, knowing greatness is a by-product of serving changes my expectations and measurements as a Christian and a parent.  As a parent, the skills I want to see my son develop and the opportunities I want to seize upon for his practice and maturity are a lot different when I adhere to Jesus’ definition of greatness and not the world’s.  (Pause for Thought:  Does knowing “greatness” is from our serving and not from being served force you to rethink the parenting skills and emphasis you are practicing?  If so, how?) I’ve had to concentrate upon the attitude, motive, desire, and passion in my service to my son and rethink what I see as greatness in my son.  If you desire a change of heart in regards to visualizing and securing greatness in your children, join us at 9:45 Sunday mornings for small group discussions on “Parenting Greatness”.  (Pause for Thought: Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms–I Peter 4:10;  The greatest among you will be your servant–Matthew 23:11)