Great in Your Leastness

Aspire to greatness!

It is a wonderful distinction if you are the leader of a church, but it would be better by far that you assume in a worthy manner the patrimony of the King.

  - The Rule of Carthage, Irish, 7th century[1]

“Assuredly, I say to you, among those born of women there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist; but he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.”

  - Matthew 11.11

Christians are not exempt from the cult of celebrity. We put on a pedestal those who have large ministries, are prolific writers, or who do worthy spiritual deeds. These become the standard by which we measure “greatness” in the Kingdom.

And, as we all know, very few of us can realize such greatness. The rest of us just have to be satisfied with our leastness. We don’t expect to amount to much for the Kingdom of God. And such expectations become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

But Kingdom greatness must be neither sought nor measured in worldly terms. Greatness in the Kingdom is measured in terms of obedience to God’s Word (Matt. 5.17-19) and faithfulness in serving others (Mk. 10.42-45). Even those who are least from a worldly perspective can be great in the Kingdom of God.

Jesus encouraged His followers not to measure their worth against the achievements of others. Even the least participants in the Kingdom of God, who are faithful as stewards over the Lord’s patrimony, whatever has been entrusted to them, can have a large impact for righteousness, peace, and joy in the Spirit.

Greatness in Jesus’ eyes is determined by faithfulness with what He has entrusted to you. If He has given you a large church, then be faithful. If He has given you a home to manage, a family to raise, and a church in which to worship and serve, then be faithful.

He has given to each of us a Personal Mission Field, in which are many people who need to know the love and life of Jesus Christ. We can be great in the Kingdom by living God’s Word and telling His Good News to the people we see every day.

Every work faithfully done is beautiful in the eyes of the Lord. We are great even in our leastness when we receive with gratitude what God has given us, and, in the power of the Lord Jesus, put it to work to create a return of glory on God’s investment in our lives (Matt. 25.14-30).

The prophet told us not to despise the day of small beginnings (Zech. 4.10); nor should we despise the trust of time, gifts, and opportunities the Lord has put at our disposal. What has been entrusted to you may seem like a cloud the size of a man’s hand (1 Kgs. 18.42-46). But God can fill that cloud with showers of blessing, to rain on and refresh the people you meet each day.

What you may regard as leastness, Jesus sees as fraught with potential for greatness. All that’s required is for us to keep our eyes on Him, our feet within His path, and our every moment available to Him for the purposes of His glory.

Jesus knows how to make leastness count for greatness when His people are faithful. So rejoice in your leastness, and aspire to greatness with it.

For Reflection
1. How would you describe your particular calling from the Lord?

2. What does that calling require of you in the way of faithfulness each day?

Psalm 119.171-176 (Regent Square: Angels from the Realms of Glory)
With our lips we praise You, Jesus, for You teach us, full and free.
Now Your Word will ever please us; Your commandments true shall be.
Let Your hand come forth to ease us; we Your Word choose gratefully!

For Your saving grace we plead, Lord, and Your Law is our delight.
We to live and praise You need, Lord, all Your help by day and night.
Straying sheep, we do not heed, Lord; come and seek us by Your might!

Jesus, help me to be faithful with everything You have entrusted to me today as I…

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T. M. Moore
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All Psalms for singing from The Ailbe Psalter. Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


[1] Ó Maidín, p. 63.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in Essex Junction, VT.
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