Being Great (Matthew 19; Mark 10)

“Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all.” (Mark 10:43b-44)

Death has a way of bringing certain things to light, doesn’t it?  Have you ever been to a funeral for a person who wasn’t that great of a person?  People get up and try to express in words their feelings now that he or she is gone.  It’s always a little awkward because people almost need to fabricate nice things to say due to a sense of guilt that the person is now dead and his or her life needs to be remembered.

Contrast that sort of depressing funeral with the funeral of a well-loved person who was highly regarded by many people.  Usually that person’s life was marked by a heart of service – looking to the needs of others rather than selfishly caring little about those around him or her.  Those funerals are really celebrations of life for people who have made a true difference.

It’s interesting to me that our life experiences confirm what Jesus taught: to become great, you must become a servant.  We all know this intuitively because we know the character of those people whom we would call “great.”  And yet, true greatness requires a special kind of sacrifice – one in which we are willing to lay aside our own needs to serve those around us.

Being great has nothing to do with money or fame; the status of greatness is only bestowed upon those care less about themselves than they do about others.

Are you on a road to greatness?  Do you put the needs of others before your own?  If not, what are you waiting for?  There’s still time to become great.

Lord, I want to be a great person who is less concerned about myself than I am about other people.  Help me to see the needs of others, and give me courage to do whatever I can to help meet them.

About Seth

Seth is a pastor, author, and speaker who lives in Batesville, Indiana. He is married to Kari, and they have two daughters, Madelyn and Noelle.