I’ve often pondered what it means to be great. What makes men like George Müller or Charles Wesley so great? Was it the 10,000 orphans cared for throughout Müller’s lifetime or the over 5,500 hymns written by Wesley? I would say no. Those are great accomplishments, but I don’t think those great acts made men like these great. Just as the life of Fanny Crosby isn’t defined by her thousands of hymns written despite her inability to see, I don’t believe our lives are defined simply by what we do.
As I’ve thought about this, my personal concept of greatness is two-fold:
- Greatness is found in the heart of an individual, not simply in their actions. Actions come and go, but the heart is eternal.
- However, greatness is not simply heart alone. It is culminated in a person’s ability to follow-through with that which is in the heart.
George Müller had an incredible heart for the orphans of England. That simple emotion didn’t make him great, but his ability to act upon that heart is what made him great.
So I guess my definition of greatness is taking what God has placed inside of us and transforming the world. Take a moment and evaluate, God what passion or burden have you placed on my heart? And how do I act on that?