During the American Civil War, General George B. McClellan was put in charge of the great Army of the Potomac, mainly because public opinion was on his side. He fancied himself to be a great military leader and enjoyed hearing the people call him “a young Napoleon.” However, his performance was less than sensational. President Lincoln commissioned him General-in-Chief, hoping this would get some action, but still he procrastinated. One evening, Lincoln and two of his staff members went to visit McClellan, only to learn that he was at a wedding. The three men sat down to wait, and an hour later the general arrived home. Without paying any attention to the president, McClellan went upstairs and did not return. Half an hour later, Lincoln sent the servant to tell McClellan that the men were waiting. The servant came back to report McClellan had gone to bed. His associates were angry. Lincoln merely got up and led the way home. “This is no time to be making points of etiquette and personal dignity,” the president explained. “I would hold McClellan’s horse if he will only bring success.”

Lincoln was not thinking of himself; he was thinking of serving others. Jesus taught that the mark of greatness was service. Jesus came not to be ministered unto but to minister. How sad it is today that everyone wants to be ‘chiefs’ and nobody wants to be ‘indians’. Just remember that Jesus said, “The greatest among you will be your servant. For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.” Matthew 23:11-12

This is contrary to our way of thinking. Our worldly standard links greatness with authority, to command and tell others what to do. We test greatness by the number of those who serve us. We honor those who have accumulated great wealth. Our hats are off to the go-getter, the achiever. We aim to look out for number one, self. We seek to be served rather than to serve.

Yet according to God, service is the way of greatness. Jesus showed us the way as He gave Himself for all mankind. Follow Him.

Your Friend in Christ,
Max E Smith
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Quote: “The price of greatness is responsibility.” Winston Churchill

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