Devotion – August 19 – “Greatness”
How would the average person define someone who they say is “great”? My guess is that it would be different from a Christian’s concept of greatness. Let me briefly speak about God’s concept of greatness.
The late Erma Bombeck, had a wonderful way of taking intricate concepts and reducing them to simple quips as she showed during this college commencement speech: “Don’t confuse fame and greatness; Madonna is an example of one. Mother Teresa the other.”
Madonna is famous, but history, will hardly call her great. Whereas Mother Teresa, will be remembered a thousand years from now. True greatness endures and it’s witness lasts forever.
Let me give you what a Christian definition of greatness: The measure of your greatness is in direct proportion to how much you love others with the heart of Jesus. What, I am saying is that your greatness, now and forever, will be measured by how much you have allowed Jesus’ love to enter your heart and lead you. You show me someone who loves with the heart of Jesus and I will show you greatness. You show me someone who loves little and maybe they will have fame, maybe they’ll even acquire a fortune, but they will never have greatness.
In our lifetime, one who attained greatness is Martin Luther King Jr. Two months before his assassination, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., spoke to his congregation at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta about his death in what would oddly enough become his eulogy.
“Every now and then I think about my own death, and I think about my own funeral,” Dr. King told his congregation. “If any of you are around when I have to meet my day, I don't want a long funeral. And if you get somebody to deliver the eulogy, tell them not to talk too long. Every now and then I wonder what I want them to say. Tell them not to mention any awards I’ve gotten, that isn't important.
“I’d like someone to mention that day that Martin Luther King, Jr., tired to give his life serving others. I’d like someone to say that day that Martin Luther King, Jr., tried to love somebody. I want you to be able to say that day that I did try to feed the hungry. I want you to be able to say that day that I did try, in my life, to clothe those who were naked. I want you to be able to say that I did try to visit those in prison. I want you to say that I tried to love and serve humanity.”
Dr. King concluded with these words: “I won’t have any money left behind. I won’t have the fine and luxurious things of life to leave behind. But I just want to leave a committed life behind.”
The measure of your greatness is, and always will be, in direct proportion to how much you love others with the heart of Jesus.
Go now, and be great!