good to great

How to Take the First Step to True Greatness

By Chip Ingram

Greatness isn’t being a celebrity or basketball star or four-star general. It’s being the magnificent person God has created you to be and serving Him with your unique personality, calling, gifts and experiences. But the reality is, in this fallen world we’re not yet perfect; all of us can grow from “good” to “great,” right?

What would you say is the best first step to move from mere “good” toward true greatness?

It’s actually pretty simple. It starts in your mind!

Psychologists today confirm what the Bible teaches. Wrong thinking leads to negative emotions, which lead to unwise behavior, which can have devastating consequences.

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The Apostle Paul writes in Romans 8:5-8:

“Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh [leads to] death, but the mind governed by the Spirit [results in] life and peace.”

Our bodies reflect the healthy or unhealthy nourishment we put in them, right? It’s similar with our minds. Our thought life shapes our feelings, decisions, and behaviors.

Think about what goes into our minds. The messages from our family of origin, the TV shows we watch, the songs we listen to, the books we read, the mentors we listen to, the barrage of “content” from the internet – all this piles up and influences us and actually trains the thinking process of our brains.

Here’s the obvious question, then: What should we put in our minds? How do we move from “good” to “great”? The answer, of course, is we need to flood our thoughts with God’s thoughts – the Bible and His creation.

Consider what Paul wrote in Philippians 4:8.

“Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.”

Paul’s command here, “to dwell,” means to consider or deliberate upon, focus on, meditate on, analyze. It’s not passive thinking. It takes energy and planning and intention.

Then Paul goes a step further. He tells us what action to take as a result of our thinking.

“The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things. . . ” (Philippians 4:9).

We are to practice what we preach! That shapes our minds as well. Knowing the truth and having it memorized, is very empowering when life throws us all sorts of challenges. Then Paul adds a wonderful promise: “… and the God of peace will be with you.”

Do you want to guard your mind from error and negative thoughts so that your emotions and activity will reflect the greatness of your Creator? Then dwell on the truth and put it into practice!

“And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7).

Dive deeper into true greatness. Check out Chip Ingram’s books and series, Good to Great

Written By

Chip Ingram

Founder & Teaching Pastor, Living on the Edge

Chip Ingram is the CEO and teaching pastor of Living on the Edge, an international teaching and discipleship ministry. A pastor for over thirty years, Chip has a unique ability to communicate truth and challenge people to live out their faith. He is the author of many books, including The Real God, Culture Shock and The Real Heaven. Chip and his wife, Theresa, have four grown children and twelve grandchildren and live in California.

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