The Measure Of A Man, God's Description Of Greatness...

This is a meditation on the meaning of greatness. It seems that the definition of greatness changes depending on who you ask. But it is always best to see what God (the source of all wisdom) has to say on the subject.

Is it possessions?

In the world today the most common symbol of greatness is what a man owns. This is common among those who do not believe in God and can be a possession such as a mansion or big fancy car.

 It can also be a title such as doctor, lawyer, etc. or a degree from a particular college. No matter what it is, it is something external that sets a person above the common people.

For a biblical view on this definition of greatness, we look at the book of Luke chapter 18. In verses 18-29, we are told the story of the rich ruler. This man had the money (rich) as well as the title (ruler), yet Jesus considered him to be the least and not the greatest.

The man asked Jesus what he must do to be saved and was told to keep the commandments. The man was probably glad because he had kept the commandments since he was a boy. Then, Jesus told him that he still lacked one thing. He was then told to sell all his possessions, give to the poor, then to follow Jesus. We can see from that story that God is not impressed by our titles or possessions.

Is it our good works?

A common measure of a man among those who believe in God, is his sacrifices and works for God. Most of the religions in the world judge a man by the festivals or rituals he keeps. The one who is most faithful in his acts is considered to be the closest to God and greater than those who do not believe or are less faithful. Many times they are even given special titles in the religion. These are also external things that separate men into groups.

In the Bible, these people were called the Pharisees and Sadducees. These were the most pious men in their faith and rulers. In Matthew chapter 16, Jesus tells His disciples to be on their guard against the teaching (yeast) of them. If they were considered great in the kingdom of God, Jesus would not have warned about their teaching.

Is it the depth of his love?

The true measure of a man comes down to what God says about greatness. We find in Mark 10:35-45, one of the teachings of Jesus on the subject.

In this account, two of the disciples asked Him to raise them up and allow them places of honor with Him. Jesus basically explained to them that they were acting like the rest of the world. He went on to tell them that to be great in the Kingdom you must be a servant to all.

We are also told in 1 John 4:16, that God is love and lives in those who show love. In 1 John 3:16-18, we are shown the definition of love and that love is more than a feeling.

These teachings show us how greatness is measured by the depth of our love. Unlike the other measurements, this is internal instead of external. Since God is love, the closer you are to Him the more you will be filled with love. As a result, that love will be manifested in the form of compassion for others.