Do you want to be really great?

A spiritual look at issues of interest to young people

There was a time WHEN I used to daydream about being great. I would make a perfect dive and could hear the applause. Or I'd solve a mystery and everyone would see it and talk about my remarkable work.

Have you ever done that? Dreamed about being great?

I know some kids who I think are great. Alex is an excellent basketball player. He scored almost half the points in his team's last game. He handles the ball with ease and accuracy. He practices a lot to sharpen his skills and become stronger. Alex is having trouble with writing, and he's practicing that, too, after school. This is hard work, but it is paying off. He's made good progress.

Erin is great in a different way. Last year she and a friend saw people picking on a girl at their school. They made friends with her - even though that meant they also got picked on. But things did turn around. And even though Erin is at a different school now, she says her friend is having an easier time this year.

Can you think of kids or older people you would say are great? What is it that makes them great?

I used to think being great meant being better than anyone else. But Alex and Erin's greatness isn't exactly like that. It's more about doing something well. And about helping other people. And about breaking down barriers by working hard. About not being afraid to do what they think is the right thing. Maybe you can add to this list.

How about this one: Being great is being what God made you to be. The Bible says God made us like Him (see Gen. 1:26, 27). God includes everything wonderful that you can imagine. (And there aren't any skeevy things about God - He is totally good.)

You are like God, not in your brain or bones or problems, but in your individuality, which includes all kinds of Godlike qualities.

For example, God is powerful; He gave us strength. God is Love; we're made to express kindness. God is Mind; we have intelligence. God can't fail; we can overcome our problems. God is complete; each of us comes with all that we need to do great things.

And on and on.

Maybe you have a kaleidoscope - a tube filled with different-colored shapes. When you turn the tube, the colored shapes make different patterns. This is like the individuality you and I have. We each have all the good qualities of God, but each pattern - each combination of qualities - is different. So we shape up to be different individuals. We're each unique; no one is inferior or superior.

Jesus, who did great and amazing things, always gave God the credit for what he did. He said he did not do anything in and of himself (see John 8:28). Jesus knew that God gave him the ability to be truly great. And Jesus proved that God gives us the same ability.

A book I like to read a lot says that you and I are "the expression of God's being" ("Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," by Mary Baker Eddy, pg. 470). All the qualities that you need to do great things are really God's qualities. He is using you to do things that help other people - and that help you as well. Each person has a place and purpose that is important.

Maybe you're thinking you'd like to be seeing more of your greatness. There is something you can do. You can be grateful for who God made you to be. You can trust that God is always showing you what to think and say and do. You can be willing to do what's good. And you can remember that every good thing you do is with God, and so you're really not alone. You don't really need to be afraid.

It's natural to be great. It's how God made you. Expect to see your greatness showing more and more in everything you do!

Thou shalt increase my greatness, and comfort me on every side. Psalms 71:21

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