Desiring Greatness May Not Be Wrong

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, “Whoever welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me.For it is the one who is least among you all who is the greatest.” - Luke 9:46-48

Sure, the disciple made a bonehead move here by arguing about who is the greatest. But did you notice how Jesus handled it? Did he rebuke them and tell them never to try to be great? No! Instead, he provides a channel, an outlet for their ambition - to love and serve those on the margins (exemplified by children, who had no status, no protections, and were not treated as they are today).

Look into your own heart today - where do you desire greatness? Is there a chance that Jesus doesn’t want to chew you out for that, but perhaps channel it in a constructive direction? Think about the challenge here (remember the Connection-Challenge Matrix, below) - Jesus isn’t disconnecting from the disciples or shaming them or trying force them to be ‘better people.’ Instead, he’s inviting and challenging them into becoming something more.

If you can take a few minutes to write down some thoughts, put into writing the places where you sense a desire for greatness. Be open to the Spirit’s conviction of where that may be selfish, but also be open to where the Spirit may want to bless and direct that desire into something deeply rewarding for both you and the world.

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