Monday, January 28, 2013

What Is Greatness?

Have you ever wondered if reality TV has changed our values somewhat or if it just magnifies our already existing values?  So many of the reality TV programs demonstrate narcissistic values that provide "entertainment" as we have the opportunity to watch people claw their way to success.  The "do whatever it takes" mantra echos through so many of those shows as we see people trample on each other in order to stay on the show one more week.  There are those rare occasions when we see someone risk losing in order to help someone who is desperately struggling, but such demonstrations are met with mixed reviews.  Some would call that person foolish because they may have destroyed their chance to win and others celebrate their valuing a fellow human.  I honestly don't know if the shows are a reflection of our society because if people behaved that way in real life, they would find themselves with no friends.  But our human nature also places high value on success and we praise those who have made it to the top.  The verses I am reading today tell us what God considers a success.  Please click on the link and read Matthew 18:1-10.

In these verses, we see the disciples trying to sort out the idea of greatness in God's eyes.  The thing that has caught my thoughts is the idea that God is so great that even His name is holy.  So, with that thought in mind, isn't it kind of silly to think that any of us could be considered great by God?  But, we've all had that thought on some level, haven't we?  Jesus answered the disciples in an unexpected way.  He didn't scold them for desiring to be great in God's eyes; He gave them an answer that shows them that greatness isn't what we should be striving for.  Jesus called over a young child and told them that we should become as humble as a little child.

This has caused me to reflect a little bit on my own childhood, and I ask you to think about some of your earliest memories.  As I think on those early days, I thought my parents were the greatest.  I knew I was completely dependent on them - whether I liked it or not didn't matter because I knew that I needed them.  In those very early years of my life, I don't think the idea of being greater than my parents had entered my thoughts and I just trusted that they loved me.  Being great in my family wasn't even a concern at that point in my life because I was just happy to be in my family.  Even though I couldn't have explained it, I understood my dependence on my family.

So, Jesus was telling the disciples that greatness isn't the goal.  We are to be humble and love God. We are to trust in His care and authority and understand that we need Him.  Greatness isn't the goal!  When we can be humble and admit that we are sinners and understand that we need Him in order to live, we will find salvation.  God considers it greatness when we can set aside the human nature and become humble enough to rely on Him.  Humility is great?  That is so opposite of what our human nature tells us.  But humility allows us to see that we need a Savior.

Can you live in humility and remember that life and salvation only comes from God?  How does that change how you interact and view others?

This post is linked with Sharing His Beauty.

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