Links Daily Devotional

True Greatness, Part 3

An argument started among the disciples as to which of them would be the greatest. Jesus, knowing their thoughts, took a little child and had him stand beside him. Then he said to them… “It is the one who is least among you all who is the greatest.” (Luke 9:46-48, NIV)

President Barack Obama, reaffirming the greatness of the United States, has said, “Greatness is never a given. It must be earned.”

The PGA Tour productions used to advertise, “These guys are good.” Last week I noticed a new ad, “Greatness is never given, it must be taken.”

When I think of greatness, my mind speeds to the what of greatness. But a more important question might be the who of greatness.

Who defines what true greatness is? Does the President or a striking television ad?

Most people accept the idea that greatness has to do with achievement. Like Michael Phelps winning eight gold medals in Beijing. Or Tiger Woods holding all four major titles at one time. Or Barack Obama, rising out of obscurity to become the first African-American President. Or Bill Gates creating Microsoft and becoming the richest man in the world.

But is true greatness about achievements, titles and success? How do we really know? Who has the authority to say what greatness truly is? And what about the question of Jesus: “What profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul?”

Jim Collins, in his best-selling book Good to Great, wrote that his research team was “surprised, shocked really, to discover the type of leader required for turning a good company into a great one…, was a person with a ‘paradoxical blend of humility and professional will.’”

Who better can define greatness than the greatest person who ever lived?

Jesus took a little child to his side and said, “The one who is least … is the greatest.”

The questions I’m asking myself are: How am I doing? Really, honestly? Am I becoming more like a little child? Am I taking the stance of “the least” among my peers?

I suspect I’ll have a choice whether I will, or will not, humble myself today.

Jim Hiskey

March 19, 2012

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