We all want to be known for something…At one time in my life, I was obsessed with the idea of standing out from the crowd. Now, some people do that in fairly normal ways like being amazing athletes or being super funny. But my surefire plan? That’s right: plaid pants and dreads.
The funny thing is…I’m not even kidding. That was my go-to uniform in high school, and it won me “Most Unique” in the high school yearbook, which was exactly what I was going for! And then in college I just built on that foundation by working as hard as I could to pursue my career as a professional bass player. I was always looking for the next crazy party or “fun” person to hang out with.
That kind of lifestyle won me a lot of greatness in the eyes of my peers and local society…but it never “stuck.” It never gave me the lasting feeling of satisfaction I was longing for.
But you know what? Jesus’s definition of greatness flipped mine on its head. When I gave my life to the Great God, I had to surrender my own understanding of what it meant to be great…and that’s been the most freeing and satisfying thing in the world for more than 20 years now.
When you hear the word “great,” what do you think of? Your definition might look slightly different than mine, but at the end of the day, we all recognize a few common themes as great: success, popularity, talent.
But you know what person Jesus calls great?
A person who serves others.
Jesus said that the greatest in His kingdom would be the servant of all (Matthew 20:26). Talk about a difference of opinion! Our culture defines greatness by a person’s skills and merit.Jesus defines greatness by a person’s love for other people. Click To Tweet
Culturally, we don’t think highly of “servants.” To us, to serve often seems like making yourself “less than” other people. But servanthood isn’t actually thinking less of yourself…It’s thinking of yourself less.
Servanthood isn’t a position or station in life. Instead, servanthood is a disposition of the heart that says “yes” to Jesus and engages the world in its places of pain.
And the key to serving others is this: we must first be servants of God…because Jesus became our servant when He took the sins of humanity to the cross.
You see, that’s the ultimate example of love: God became a servant for us, and He did what we could never do…He redeemed us when we had no way of redeeming ourselves.
So God’s definition of greatness is really just love, at its most basic level. And in God’s economy, love works itself out in service of others.
Thankfully, we never have to “manufacture” love for other people. As followers of Jesus, Jesus himself dwells within us, and He has an infinite amount of love to pour out on other people through us.
And since God himself (the Greatest Being in the universe) demonstrated His love in servanthood, we can rest assured that to serve is what makes us truly great in God’s kingdom.
Let’s put feet on our faith this week, and do what God himself did for us – serve! Let’s take the opportunities presented to us and actually do something…Make a decision to serve wherever there’s a need, and praise God as you go. What you will find is that serving God by serving others is one of the most fulfilling human experiences under the sun. Not only will your heart find true joy and fulfillment…but you will be great – in the way Jesus himself defined.
Check out this Two Minute Message