On October 16, 2001 one of the best-selling management books ever was published. It was Jim Collins’ book: Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…and Others Don’t.”
With over four million copies sold, and still counting, it has had a huge impact in the business world, and its message and principles have crossed over into the mainstream culture, spawning many books and articles about moving from good to great in all areas of life.
There’s something affirming about focusing on being great. It tells you something about a person who has the gumption, grit, and determination to get out there and really try to be great at something.
Furthermore, I’m guessing you’re like me when it comes to quality of life. If I had a choice, I’d much rather my grandchildren go to great schools, live in a great community, and attend a great church.
I’d much rather have a great job and earn a great wage and eat at great restaurants, and have great doctors, and hear great sermons and sing great songs, and drive on great roads and have great leaders who are looking out for a great country.
Why truth be known, if I have a choice, I’d rather be great at what I do than just good or average.
And I don’t think there is anything inherently wrong with this. I’ve read Collin’s book and others that were inspired by it and I found them interesting and helpful.
But, (You knew that was coming, didn’t you?) 😊…
There is an inherent danger in focusing on greatness. The tendency is to make our pursuit of greatness about ourselves.
Like the ancient builders of the Tower of Babel, the goal with greatness can easily drift over into: “Let us make a name for ourselves…” (Genesis 11:4)
However, for those of us who are Christ-followers, there is only one truly valid reason to aspire to seek greatness, and that is to seek to make the name and glory of Jesus great in the earth.
This must be more than a slogan or something we give a nod to at church and then go back out into the “real world” and continue to go about building our own kingdom.
I want to encourage you to remember the words of John the Baptist: “He must increase and I must decrease.” (John 3:30)
Do what you do for His glory.
In the labor of your hands and heart, be able to say with integrity: “I did it for Him and I gave Him my best.”
Seek to stamp every deed and word with the label: “Made on earth for Him.”
And here’s the irony, a life devoted to making the name of Jesus Christ great is the only real way to achieve true greatness.
You can comb the pages of history and you will find many rulers with “the Great” attached to the end of their name. Yet, today they are forgotten. But the least of us who have spent our lives devoted to making our Lord Jesus Christ’s name great in all we do will be remembered and celebrated long after our tiny sun has cooled and darkened into a cold and frozen ember and our planet has drifted into the freezing darkness to wander alone until our universe, along with all of man’s “greatness,” has finally dissipates into dust and ashes.
- The ONE THING for today: Greatness is great as long as it is about advancing the greatness of the name and purpose of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
1 Peter 4:11 (NKJV)
If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.