Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant. (Matt. 20:26)

J. M. Barrie, the author of Peter Pan, ranks among the greatest children’s authors of all time. His work charms generation after generation. But he can be called great not just for his captivating writing. In 1929 he granted all copyright proceeds (in perpetuity) from Peter Pan to the Great Ormand Street Hospital Children’s Charity in England. He gave the profits of his most important work to help sick children in need.

Jesus stated that those who want to be great must be servants of others. The obvious lesson is that we should have the heart of a servant like Christ. But there’s a natural flip side to what Jesus taught that we may miss. When God does grant us greatness in some way, it is not so we can lord it over others, but so we can serve them. Our greatness isn’t about us.

An interesting thing happens when we observe people who are said to be great. When we watch them puff up themselves in their greatness, that greatness diminishes. However, when we witness a genuine, humble desire to serve others with what that “great” person has been given, that person suddenly becomes greater than ever before. And for the families and children helped by Barrie’s gift—while he was a great author, what really mattered to them was that he was a great man.

Ask God to show you one new way to use your gifts for others.

Diane Gardner lives in northern California. She enjoys oil painting, theater, community festivals, and quiet evenings at home.