I often look at fellow Christians doing very well in life, and I grow envious, not of the things they have, but of their relationship with God.
I know, it’s funny. But I think, “This person must be so close to God. They’re so blessed. They have a family, a car, a good house. They probably did not struggle like most of us because they have always been faithful to God.”
But this is not necessarily true! I know there are people out there who often fall prey to such thinking, and we need to work on it. St. James in his letter to the Jews living outside Palestine reminds us of what constitutes true greatness in Christ.
Never measure a person’s greatness by the things they own, or the wealth they have amassed, or their own physical attributes. These are secondary things given out of God’s grace. But a true indicator of a person’s greatness in Christ is their faithfulness to His Word, and how they treat their fellow humans and God’s creation.
Look at Christ himself. People recognized His greatness but for the wrong reasons. Everyone expected a King, a Hero, a military ruler who would usher in a golden age of the Jewish Empire. But when His True greatness was revealed - His love for the Father and for mankind - all but a few disciples abandoned Him. We also do the same at times, and we miss out on Christ who comes to us in lowly persons from whom we turn our faces away.
Look at the Saints. What made them great? Their riches and power and their charisma? Or that they were humble, often poor, and extremely devoted to God’s mission in their lives? Think about it today.
There is no Crown without the Cross. There is no greatness in Christ without faithfulness to Him.
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