What makes us great?

What makes us great?

There really is no need to say that the media has been overwhelmingly saturated by the US election. It’s far past the point where it has all just felt like a lot of noise. So, I want to ease your nerves and tell you now this is not a blog about the election, it has no political stance, it is simply an observation, and reflection on what defines greatness.

An article published by The Hill is the inspiration for this. The writer explores how greatness is defined.

She uses President George W. Bush’s example of responding to the HIV/AIDS epidemic in 2003 to formulate a definition on what makes a country, or person, great. The author does a phenomenal job as describing greatness through this example, so instead of me attempting to explain her point I will simply quote her:

“America is greatest and strongest when it extends a hand to those who, by political conventional wisdom, it should care about the least. A great America doesn’t look at a suffering continent and dismiss the people within as just Africans, and doesn’t look at a region in turmoil to dismiss the victims as just Yazidis or Syrians.

A good America does not equal a weak America. A compassionate America is not a losing America. And humanitarian crises don’t happen in a vacuum- Bush rightly pointed out that healthy, whole societies make stable economic and security partners, while those crumbling under crises are prone to become ‘exporters of danger.’

An America on the right path embraces righteousness and doesn’t rank other lives as less worthy of protection. PEPFAR (Presidents’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief) sets that high bar, and challenges us to accurately define and share even more American greatness.” – Bridget Johnson, The Hill.

Now, remove yourself for a moment from both Bush and America. This blog is not to elevate either one, they simply happen to be the context through which this definition of greatness is defined.

Look at what she is saying. Should it surprise us that a true definition of greatness is reflective of what we find in scripture?

When Jesus was asked…

 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’  This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:36-40

Later on in Matthew Jesus says…

The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ Matthew 25:40

Loving, caring, having compassion for our neighbours, near and far; The least of these, as well as the greatest. Loving those who the world tells us we should not love. Seeing their humanity because they are not simply a people group but our neighbours. This defines greatness. True greatness is timeless and applies to us all because it is rooted in scriptural truth, not just for America, but for each and every nation, community and person.

 

Read the article here.