“The Secret of a Great Life”
What kind of year are you having so far – a good year or a great year?
Jim Collins, former Stanford University professor, and national bestselling author, wrote a book entitled Good to Great. According to Jim, “Few people attain great lives, in large part because it is just so easy to settle for a good life.”
Jesus calls his disciples not just to a good life, but also to a great life. He said in John 14:12, “The one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the father.”
In the economy of God, greatness has to do with works of service. On Wall Street and on Main Street greatness is attributed to money, influence, connection and power. Not so with the Lord! He says, “But whoever would be great among you must be your servant” (Mark 10:43).
The secret to a great life, then, is service to others. Think of some of the great people you know – chances are many of them are committed to serving others. Jesus himself “came not to be served but to serve” (Mark 10:45). Until we learn to serve others, we will limit ourselves to what is simply a good life.
Our understanding of service begins at home. The home is a training ground for what we expect in the world, and genuine service in the world is an extension of our homes. Therefore, we must teach children:
- To make up their own beds
- Take out the trash
- Wash the dishes
- Pick up after themselves
- Help with housework
- Lend a hand when needed
- Volunteer at the local food pantry.
In addition, those of us who are parents should of course lead by example.
Not long ago I tried to turn on a tape recorder I had owned for some time and it would not work. After a little investigating, I realized because I had not used the recorder in quite a while, the batteries were corroded and had leaked all over. Not only were the batteries ruined but the tape recorder was also damaged. Likewise, you and I were created for service. When we do not extend ourselves in service to others we become corroded, damaged on the inside.
Serving others is the way to serve God. Jesus said, “I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me . . . As you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to Me” (Matthew 25:35-37 and 40). When we serve others, we seize our opportunity to serve God.
The more you serve the greater you are. Think of the great Mother Teresa who dedicated herself to serving the people on the streets of India. Not everybody can be Mother Teresa, but everybody can serve. Our church has many opportunities for service. Let us explore together how you might be in service to God and therefore raise your level of living from good to great!