I have found myself asking the question, “What does it mean to be great?”. In this season, there have been so many people buzzing about women equality and empowerment. Powerful speeches have been given with forth telling words like, “A new day, a new dawn”. As a believer and follower of Jesus, I am excited, inspired and on the edge of my seat. But, there’s something deeper going on in my spirit at this time.
We as humans already have the desire to do something great or be something great. Yet, in this culture, it seems the only way to do that is to compete with those who seemingly already have a position of greatness or power. This isn’t just from a female standpoint, although that does come with its set of challenges when hitting this subject. How do we as people achieve greatness? What does it look like, and do we have to step on someone else to get to the places we want to be?
As I have been scrolling through social media, I’ve seen titles to videos or posts that really bothered me. Some along the lines of, “This speech is more this and that than this other person has ever given”, or, “Watch as this pastor destroys this other pastor”. Now, I know there’s 21st Century jargon going on here where the word “destroy” just means to diss or show up, but it’s still giving off a particular message.
To get more to my point, my favorite kind of greatness is the kind you can achieve and share without stepping on someone else or slamming someone else’s light or greatness to obtain your own. We do not have to tarnish someone else’s image or beliefs to make ours seem better, great or more powerful. Notice that I’m not saying there is anything wrong with being great. In fact, even Jesus wants us to be great.
Matthew 20:26 says, “You’ve observed how godless rulers throw their weight around, how quickly a little power goes to their heads. It’s not going to be that way with you. Whoever wants to be great must become a servant. Whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave. That is what the Son of Man has done: He came to serve, not be served—and then to give away his life in exchange for the many who are held, hostage. (MSG)”
Jesus did not say, “ You cannot be great! That’s wrong!” He said, whoever wants to be great must become a servant. Thinking of others higher than yourself, helping, loving sacrificially: this is not culture’s idea of how to achieve greatness— but it is Jesus’ definition of greatness. His definition will last longer and produce more goodness and more success than the world’s definition. We can do great things! We can have innovative ideas, we can start businesses, we can write songs, books, blogs or do videos without comparing or insulting someone else.
As a woman and a believer, I can go out confidently with my voice and my ideas because my definition of greatness and success is defined by the Lord and His Word. I do not have to tear down another girl or her ideas to make my own shine. I want to shine because I’m reflecting a greater light. If you want to succeed in the world’s eyes, you may have to crush a few dreams or step on someone’s head to have momentary success. But, if you want to succeed in the eyes of the one who truly matters, you will have to lay down your life so you can live with everlasting favor and abundance. I want to learn to live like that. THAT is true greatness and I believe it with all of my heart.