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I Want To Be The Best

By Don Loftis | 06.17.15

The text message last night was not good news.  Our grandson’s baseball team lost their tournament game 12-9.  It was disappointing to Caleb, all those 8 year-olds, and their fans.  Why?  Because winning is important to us.  As adults we want to succeed and be honored for our accomplishments. We want to finish first and be recognized as the best at what we do.

Like us, Jesus’ disciples often struggled with a passion for prominence.  Mark records this message from Jesus in chapter 9: “Sitting down, He called the twelve and said to them, ‘If anyone wants to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all.’  Taking a child, He set him before them, and taking him in His arms, He said to them, ‘Whoever receives one child like this in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me does not receive Me, but Him who sent Me.’”

Jesus did not discourage greatness, but He redefined it.  Personal excellence is not measured in wins and accomplishments, but it is measured in our service to others.  In the First Century children were at the bottom of society, so Jesus challenged His disciples to serve those who were most vulnerable and least able to reciprocate their kindnesses.

Dave Thomas was the founder of Wendy’s hamburger chain.  He was famous for his servant heart that carried over into his business activities.  In fact, he was a high school drop out who often said his MBA was not a master’s degree in business administration, but a simple “Mop Bucket Attitude.”  His business success was founded on serving.  Jesus came from heaven as the Son of God, but He portrayed greatness not with a crown but with a cross.  Let’s seek true greatness despite the score, the bonus, the title, or the press clippings.


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