AthleteWord: Champions do not DEFINE GREATNESS by how many serve them – but by how THEY SERVE.
How do you define greatness? Is it something we do? Is it a position we hold? I once had an individual admit what many of us think. He said, “I just want to be famous.” This is actually a common desire in our culture – where we count followers on social media, measure success by games won, albums sold, books sold, and bodies in the seats. We are taught that greatness is measured by how much attention we attract to ourselves. More money, more sexual appeal, and more wins supposedly define greatness. But, is this what Jesus teaches His followers?
- How do you define true greatness?
- Who is the “greatest” competitor in your gym?
The mother of James and John approached Jesus with their request for greatness. They defined greatness by the power of position. They desired to make their own name great. Jesus helped them see greatness is not defined by how many serve us but how we serve. How do I know if my life is directed toward God’s definition of greatness? Evaluating the way I see others who can’t make my name great helps me understand my own definition of greatness.
- Do I see greatness in powerless people who can’t make my name great?
Jesus said “whoever humbles himself like a child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:1-5) The applause of a child may feel nice, but a child does not possess the power to increase our fame. Greatness is serving “powerless” people no matter what it does for our name, because we want to make the name of Jesus famous.
- Do I see greatness in powerful people who who can’t make my name great?
Jesus values the smallest tasks which are done in His name. He calls them “mighty works.” (Mark 9:38-41) But, what if these acts of service are done by those who are not connected to me and my group? It is common to feel competitive with the good works of others. Greatness is applauding those who can’t make my name famous, because they want to make the name of Jesus famous through their lives.
“Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave; just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life—a ransom for many.”
- Using God’s definition of greatness, what are the greatest works we can do in our gym, or the fitness community?
- Serve someone this week who is “powerless” to make your name great.
- Send a note of encouragement to someone who has done something great for Jesus but is not connected to you and your group.
- Commit Matthew 20:27-28 to memory.