Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Achieving greatness in life

Awhile ago, the book "A Purpose Driven Life" by Rick Warren made a huge splash in North America. It made the New York Times' best seller list for several years and topped the Wall Street Journal best seller charts as well. Not only did it influence churches around the world, it extended outside the Christian community and into the secular mainstream. It was a big hit.

What was the secret to its success?  I think the author tapped into something in human nature that is innate.  Mainly, our deep desire for purpose and for achieving greatness in life. Purpose and greatness were in God's design when he created us. Our hearts long for it; we are restless without it.  The Bible touches when, for example, it compares us in our life journey to athletes running in a race--running to win the prize that waits at the finish line.  (Hebrews 12:1; 2 Timothy 4:7) 

As a life goal, achieving greatness is not a bad thing, but God tells us to define greatness carefully. In His kingdom, greatness is polar opposite to the common notions our society holds. In the world today, we are considered great if we achieve success through our ability and with our smart decisions.  In contrast, a Christian's greatness depends solely on his nearness to God--not on personal achievement. Like the moon, whose greatness lies in reflecting the glory of the sun, a Christian's greatness lies in reflecting the glory of God--through the Son. The closer we are to Him, the brighter we reflect his light. And this proximity is something we receive from God rather than something we achieve ourselves. We are therefore driven by His purpose and not self-sufficiently driving by our own steam...

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