By: Danny Wallace
Man defines greatness in many different ways. However, there is a common thread by man’s definition of what is truly great. The common thread in man’s definition is that “man is always glorified.”
I had no sooner started to write this particular “Think With Ink” than my wife said to me, “I want to read you something.” She began reading from a page entitled, “What We Believe” from the Facebook page of a new church in Atlanta, Georgia. I won’t bother to repeat all of what should have been titled, “What We Don’t Believe.” I’ll simply say that someone had spent countless hours gluing scriptures together to basically say, “Jesus has given you nothing, but if you will join with us, WE can show you the way.”
The page declared that we must live good enough to keep God from blotting our names out of the Book of Life, and that we have the ability “in and of ourselves” to live sinless and perfect, and “if we don’t,” we’re going straight to Hell. I asked my wife to “please” not read me another word.
It doesn’t take a genius to recognize that this religious spirit is not from God. This was not the spirit of Love that reached out to pull me close at a point in time when I was nothing more than a bitter, ungrateful, and broken sinner. Rather than a blessing – it comes with a curse. Rather than bearing the gift of love without conditions – it comes bearing the curse of the Law that Jesus took upon Himself to set us free from forever. Rather than coming with the treasure of forgiveness – it is a spirit that comes with “an eye for an eye.”
Greatness is not found in climbing religious ladders so that we can rise high enough to receive God’s love and favor, or to receive the same from man. Greatness is found in Jesus, the highest of them all, kneeling to wash creation’s feet. Greatness doesn’t demand five star hotels, limousines at airports, or special recognition of any kind. Greatness doesn’t seek isolation from the “common” people. Greatness is found in the heart of the servant.
Greatness demands nothing and is grateful for each, and every blessing from God, regardless of how great or small others may consider the blessing to be. Greatness was born in a stable, rode into town on a donkey, and said from His great and loving heart; “Don’t stop a single child from coming to Me.” This is the Kingdom of God!
And finally, just as all self- righteous men are careful to declare, this new church doctrine (which ain’t all that new at all) declared, “The righteous will submit to religious authority.”
Translated, this means, “You will submit to the authority of man. When we say, “Jump,” you will ask, “How high?” If you don’t, we will declare you unworthy, and proceed to glue ten thousand scriptures together to declare you to be ‘nothing’ in the eyes of God – forever labeling you, unteachable, and rebellious to spiritual authority.”
Shall we submit to authority? Oh yes, we shall. You will recognize JESUS immediately. He is the One who comes in humility and love. He is the One who loves the deepest and serves with the greatest humility. We will fall in humble love at the feet of Jesus, who first loved us with unequaled, and humble sacrifice. All others stand on the level ground of His finished glory – kings, preachers, whores, and thieves.
Let us bow in gratefulness to the One who was righteous and just to pass judgment on all of us, but refused to do so. Let us forever fall into the arms of Jesus, who is from everlasting to everlasting. Not because we fear an eraser on the end of the judgment pencil of the Law, but rather, because we treasure the blood from God’s own hands that sealed our destiny forever.
The more of “self” we crucify, the greater “we” become. Greatness is not found in how high we tilt our chin to the sky, but rather, in how low we bow to kiss the feet of others. Greatness is not found in pointing at the sins of others, but rather, in holding broken hearts in loving hands up to the Healer of all mankind.
Greatness is not found on the lips of those who speak, “worthless” over anyone. Greatness is found in Jesus, the One who sacrificed everything to declare, “Priceless” over everyone.