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How to Be Truly Great

I love reading about Christian heroes from the past. My favorite are the books we would term “missionary biographies.”  These exciting memoirs usually chronicle the great adventure that follows a commitment to go anywhere and do anything for Christ. To read about people who sacrificed so much, accomplished a ton, and lived with such resolve, is beyond inspiring.

For weeks after reading one of these biographies I would find myself extra motivated to work harder, get more out of my comfort zone, and sacrifice more for the sake of the gospel.


Sometimes, days after my newfound motivation, I find myself experiencing an odd shift in emotions. It almost feels like discouragement. I begin wondering whether I could ever make that kind of difference or have my life amount to that much. When I  compare my life to this hero of the faith I can’t help but feel inadequate. Attaining to that kind of life seems simply impossible.

But every once in a while, a few extremely honest sentences make it into a biography. And when they do, we realize that these people were, in fact, human.

Our heroes had their struggles, they got tired, relationships weren’t always perfect…and what often strikes me the most – is that they too were busy with normal, everyday kinds of stuff, some of which might be considered “mundane.” In fact, famous women of the past spent a crazy amount of time doing tasks like laundry, dishes, cleaning, gardening, farming, sewing, etc. These women who made history were clearly not “above” everyday life.

But most of the time, the biographies are only focusing on the highlights.

Okay, so you already knew that….Thank you Captain Obvious, right?! But I think there is something we can take from this reminder.

We ought to realize that our life is actually a lot like those who have gone before us and accomplished great things for God. They, like you, and like me, had a lot of normal busyness in their life.  What made them great was their willingness to use the opportunities in front of them for God’s purposes, regardless of the cost.

Like them, our life is made up of moments and choices. We have countless opportunities to do things our way or God’s way. To give or be selfish. To speak truth or keep quiet. To reach out or stay put. To work hard or slack off.  To invest in people or keep to ourselves. To waste time or thoughtfully use it.  And you can be sure that those who made a difference in history capitalized on the opportunities God gave them.

God has placed you at a certain time in history. He put you in the city you live in, in the culture you are surrounded by, and he has given you relationships with specific people. There are opportunities waiting for you. You just need to capture the moments and maximize them.

If you have a simple willingness to live for God, you can make a difference right now, right here, today.

Whether or not a memoir is written about us (of course that is not the point!), let’s be women who choice by choice and moment by moment, sacrifice much, accomplish a ton, and live with massive resolve –  and thus truly live “that kind of life.” 

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