Time Magazine just released their Top 100 Most Influential People of 2019, once again pulling the genuineness (that is a word, I promise) and humility out of the swill. It’s like they generously scraped the cream from the top of the milk and offered it to the world.
It doesn’t just highlight the elite of Hollywood but the pioneers, icons, titans, artists, and world leaders of our year. These are real people who began with a dream and received recognition about what they stand for, as well as their undeniable talents. My favorites are those names that probably haven’t spoken or wouldn’t recognize – people like Tara Westover, Jay O’Neal and Emily Comer, or He Jiankui. You know what made them stand out?
They are individuals for a better world, not for a better personal achievement. Their fame wasn’t necessarily intentional; their talent captivated an audience that needed what they had to offer.
A man’s gift makes room for him and brings him before the great.
– Proverbs 18:16
There are many famous men and women in the Bible but the ones that we would name off as “great” didn’t actually intend on becoming famous. It was their talent (or lack thereof) that made them memorable.
Moses’ heritage may have disqualified him from greatness in Pharaoh’s Egypt, but it made him the perfect candidate for God’s mission to save his people.
Elijah was arguably one of Israel’s most important prophets with unabashed faith in time of harsh persecution. He sat at the foot of a tree and begged God to kill him, but his story is one of the strongest where God’s greatness is made perfect in our weakness.
Queen Esther wasn’t always a queen – she used her heritage to become an advocate for her people in a court that was hostile to her family.
Peter… don’t even get me started on Peter… His lack of faith, his inconsistency, his blindness, his boldness, and his teachability made him the perfect candidate to lead a church that was just like him.
Of all these great biblical giants, what drew God to them was their heart. It was the inner talents that God wanted to pull out because he believed they represented him and his glory best. You can feel confident in putting your name on that list, too.
…may you hear in heaven, your dwelling place, and may you forgive, act, and give to everyone according to all their ways, since you know each heart, for you alone know every human heart…
– 1 Kings 8:39
Rest assured that if you have given your heart to God, if you have said, “Yes, Lord, I am your servant alone,” God is pruning and molding you into exactly what he needs you to be.
You may never land a spot on Time‘s Top 100 (or maybe you might!), but know that you’re on God’s Top list. No one on that list wrote their own accomplishments or praise – it was the people around them that spoke up. The same is true of those that surrounded Jesus.
Know that your greatness is determined by how much of him is in you, not your talents alone. What you keep trying to hide is exactly what God wants to use.
Weakness makes greatness.