Everyone wants to live the American dream. Our culture has been programmed to presume that being the first, richest, hippest, happiest and most popular is the key to finding joy and contentment. “Getting a leg up on the competition,” “looking out for number one,” and “fighting your way to the top” are popular phrases that encapsulate society’s intense drive to achieve success --- even if it means capitalizing on the failure or weakness of someone else.
But how far can the “Me-First” mentality really get us? In his new book, BE LAST: Descending to Greatness, speaker and author Jeremy Kingsley answers this question by radically overturning the “rationality” of current secular thinking and attitudes --- even in the book’s title. In a stirring call for life change, Kingsley asks readers to reconsider the meaning of true success by delving into what Jesus called greatness and how to attain it.
“Jesus calls us to get down and dirty and to give up our pretensions of greatness defined by fame, carefree living, or accomplishment,” says Kingsley. “Contrary to popular opinion, greatness is truly defined by the humble and often hidden actions of a person who has given up on coming out on top.”
In a culture dominated by winning and applause, Kingsley, like the Bible, says we should be aliens in this world --- even when it comes to how we look at success. “It is not about having, it’s about being. Living a great life is actually walking a difficult but rewarding path of self-sacrifice and inconvenience driven by a greater concern and love for others.”
Basing his contention with the popular “do whatever it takes to win” ideology on the biblical principle that the last shall be first, Kingsley stresses the need to display attitudes of humility and servitude while emphasizing others before self. By studying Christ’s example, Kingsley explores the descent into greatness as he teaches readers how to become last in service, with people, in salvation, in position, in submission, in lifestyle, in confession, in intimacy and in attitude.
“Though the path to success in God’s economy is a countercultural mystery, it is the proven path to genuine greatness,” says Kingsley. In his book, as in his own life, Kingsley powerfully summons readers to this often unheard of but very necessary spiritual journey --- a journey to be last.
BE LAST: Descending to Greatness © Copyright 2011 by Jeremy Kingsley. Reprinted with permission by Tyndale House Publishers. All rights reserved.