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Jentezen Franklin: Be great before it's too late
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In October 2001, a man by the name of James Collins wrote a book called, “Good to Great,” which became a national and international best-seller.

This started a national and international conversation about how you define greatness. The Bible actually has a lot to say about greatness. A passage in 2 Timothy basically says in a house there are vessels of honor and vessels of dishonor; vessels that are great and some that are not great.

It’s one thing to live in a great house, but it does not make you great. It’s one thing to have great parents, but that doesn’t make you great. It’s one thing to work for a great company or corporation that’s great, but that doesn’t mean you’re great.

Furthermore, I made a list of things that greatness is not, and a few things that greatness is.

Let me start with what greatness is not.

Greatness is not inherited. It’s not the result of birth, so you cannot simply inherit greatness.

Greatness is not based on wealth. A lot of wealthy people are not great people.

Greatness is not just based on talent. Some people are good at doing, but they’re not good at being.

Greatness is not popularity. It’s not how many Twitter or Instagram followers you have. Some celebrities have millions of followers, but are not great people. Never sacrifice greatness for popularity.

Greatness is not cheap. Greatness will cost you something such as time, energy and sacrifice. It’s going to cost you some resources and hours of you paying the price, going the extra mile and doing what other people are not willing to do.

Greatness is not immediate. Greatness takes time to develop in a culture where we want everything right now.

Greatness is not common and not something you see every day. It distinguishes you from the crowd.

And lastly, greatness is not born. Many times you discover it through a crisis. Hidden greatness is revealed during hardships.

Here’s what you have to do to be great.

No. 1: You have to be teachable.

The Bible says in Proverbs “A fool despises instructions.”

You must be teachable or you will never be great. Taking in correction is not merely hearing it. It is receiving it.

No. 2: Greatness is found in values and tested in the daily comings and goings of life.

This is what greatness is: Can you keep your word? Can you be trusted? Can you treat people right? Who are you when nobody’s watching? Greatness is not what you do; it’s who you are.

No. 3: Greatness will be greatness wherever it is. Greatness is a tool, not a weapon. Greatness is being the very best version of you as a mother, father, husband or wife, employee, friend or a co-worker. Can God trust you with greatness?

It’s a new year with all kinds of amazing opportunities and possibilities. Be great while you still can. Be great before it’s too late.

Jentezen Franklin is the senior pastor of Free Chapel in Gainesville. He can be contacted at 678-677-8300 or visit

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