What Makes a Great Man/Woman Great?
What Makes a Great Man or Woman Great?
Attitudes of Greatness
by Joyce Meyer
I believe that God has placed the desire to be great inside each one of us. Whatever you and I do in life, we should aim to be great at it.
Whether we’re a mom or dad, a minister, a doctor, a lawyer or anything else, we should make it our aim to be the best at what we do.
In seeking to be great, however, we must understand that God’s idea of greatness and the world’s idea are two very different things. In Matthew 20:20-28, we read that the mother of James and John asked Jesus to give her sons a position of power by allowing them to sit on His right and left in the Kingdom.
Jesus responded and explained the difference between leadership in the world and the kingdom of God. He said, …the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men hold them in subjection [tyrannizing over them]. Not so shall it be among you; but whoever wishes to be great among you must be your servant (verses 25,26).
In order for you and me to attain greatness in the kingdom of God, we must first become servants of God and one another. Let’s look at some important characteristics of servants that will help us become great men and women of God.
First of all…
Servants Walk In Humility
I believe that developing an attitude of humility is the foundation for greatness. Even Jesus, the Son of God, walked in humility. Philippians 2:5 says, Let this same attitude and purpose and [humble] mind be in you which was in Christ Jesus: [Let Him be your example in humility:]. Verses 6 and 7 go on to say that even though Jesus was equal with God, He became a servant. To become great, we must choose to follow Jesus’ example by humbling ourselves and becoming a servant.
In John 13:4-13, Jesus washed the disciples’ feet. This was a good example of humility for the disciples because washing someone’s feet was considered one of the lowest jobs for a household servant. In verse 14, Jesus instructs us to do the same, saying, If I then, your Lord and Teacher (Master), have washed your feet, you ought…to wash one another’s feet. Just as He came from heaven to serve us, so we as believers are in the world to become like Jesus and serve others.
In order to do that, we must…
Walk In Obedience
Jesus walked in obedience by doing whatever the Father told Him, no matter what the cost. In Philippians 2:8 it says, …He abased and humbled Himself [still further] and carried His obedience to the extreme of death…. Jesus set an example of greatness for us by walking in extreme obedience and laying down His life to serve others.
You and I may not physically lay down our lives for others. However, every time we choose to resist our fleshly tendencies to be unforgiving, unkind and impatient, laying down our lives to serve others, we are taking up our cross and choosing death for our flesh, which is what we want, think and feel. A great man or woman in the kingdom of God makes obeying the Spirit of God a habit—regularly choosing God’s will over their own desires.
I remember being in church as a young believer, singing about loving others with the love of the Lord, then going out to lunch and gossiping with my friends about the same people I was supposed to be loving! God convicted me that I was being a hypocrite. At that point I had a choice to make—choose God’s way and repent or continue to follow my flesh by judging and criticizing people with my words.
The truth is, we are faced with choices to walk in obedience every day. The question is, are we in the habit of obeying? Do we do what God asks us to do and what we know in our hearts is right? If you want to walk in the greatness God has for you, you must serve God by making obedience a habit.
So, in order to become a great servant like Christ, we need to walk humbly, obediently and…
Integrity is vital if we are going to be a servant God can trust. In order to serve others with integrity and honesty, we will have to fight for it. God’s Word tells us that although we live in the world we are not of it (see John 15:19). And the world’s ways often include dishonesty and manipulation to obtain places of greatness or leadership. The problem is, if we get into leadership that way, we will have to keep our position the same way. On the other hand, if we focus on being a servant, maintain our integrity, and allow God to place us in positions of leadership then He will keep us there.
I recall the emotional turmoil I experienced years ago when a man I worked for asked me to do something dishonest. He wanted me to forge the books so that a customer would not receive the credit owed to them. I thought for sure I would lose my job if I refused. I really struggled with the decision but knew that I had to do what was right. Although he was irritated with me when I told him I wouldn’t do it, he didn’t fire me like I thought. In fact, I ended up getting several promotions during the time I worked for that company.
Because I chose to walk in integrity, my boss knew he could trust me. God feels the same way about us when we choose to walk in integrity—He can trust us with great opportunities to serve. I can honestly say, I don’t know if I would be doing what I am now, if I didn’t do the right thing when I was asked to compromise my integrity then.
Great Attitudes Make Great People
I believe that humility, obedience and integrity are three key characteristics that contribute to the making of a great man or woman. If you humble yourself before God, develop a habit of obedience, and choose to walk in integrity in every area of your life, you will be well on your way to showing the world what really makes a great man or woman great.
Not the building, not the formalities, not the Institution, not the religion, not the bullet points. But Christ, Grace, Peace, Community, Forgiveness, Rest, Rescue, Action.