Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

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May 24, 2014

Do not seek greatness for the sake of greatness

We must be careful to not desire greatness for greatness itself.

But Brother Mike “It’s so hard to be humble when I am so good!”

This is a very funny but prideful statement. When one is “so good in their own eyes,” God is robbed of getting the glory in their life.

Shakespeare once wrote, “Some are born great, some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon 'em.”

True greatness always reflects “internal substance” and not “external show.”

The prophet Jeremiah, in speaking to his personal secretary and close friend Baruch, shares some “great” advice on greatness. Baruch at one point probably had “expectations of grandeur” for his life. Jeremiah wanted Baruch to understand that desiring to be great for greatness itself was futile.

Jeremiah shared with Baruch, “Seekest thou great things for thyself; seek them not.”(Jeremiah 45:5)

It was a great blessing as Pastor Jon W. Tice and I were discussing this passage of scripture over lunch.

Let’s believe that Jeremiah’s comment has nothing to do with our pursuing goals, dreams and aspirations in life. We should “dream big” and passionately go after our dreams.

Striving to pursue all that one can become in life is not the same as desiring to achieve in life for the sake of merely becoming great.

Jesus, on truly being great, points out to us: “whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” (St. Matthew 20:26-28)

True greatness is not someone telling the world how great they are but instead “quietly demonstrating” how they bless others by serving.

The Apostle Paul on greatness shares: “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men.” (Philippians 2:4-7)

Sincerely pursue being a servant and others (God even), will bestow greatness upon you.

Peace with Justice, Be Sweet, Attend Worship This Week, and Families Matter.

This column is dedicated in Memory of Ms. Ta’Bria Neosha Collier.

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