Christian history is peppered with people who are acknowledged as Spiritual Giants.
Some are known for providing theological insights that shaped the development of the Church. Their writings not only impacted the Church but also the world. Examples of such persons would be Augustine, Thomas Aquinas and John Calvin.
For some, their total focus and zeal to spread the gospel led them to people of foreign lands. With deep passion and love for both God and humanity, these missionaries converted countless souls, improved the lives of many and some even translated the bible into native languages. Examples of such persons are William Carey, Hudson Taylor, Eric Liddell and Amy Carmichael.
For others, their role as shepherds uplifted and transformed countless lives. They are pastors who care for their flock with love and dedication. They “walk the talk” in their Christian lives and as branches of the divine vine, they bear fruit beyond measure. As pastors, their impact extends to several generations. Examples of such pastors are Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Richard Baxter.
While we are not to idolize such Spiritual Giants, they can encourage us in our Christian ministry. This is so, particularly in times when the going gets tough, when we wonder whether to continue. For example, when we have to make a difficult decision, we think of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, whose resistance to Adolf Hitler during the time of Nazi Germany cost him his life. This encourages us to make the decision with calm and assurance.
However, to be a Spiritual Giant, must we do great things that shock and inspire awe in the world?
My answer is “no”. A Spiritual Giant could be well educated, poorly educated, disabled, quiet, gregarious, wealthy, poor, single, married, young, middle-aged, elderly, etc.
That person could be a cleaner, lawyer, an accountant, lecturer, labourer, hawker, an administrative staff member, trash collector, etc.
So, what makes a Spiritual Giant?
Well, that person has a deep love for God, resulting in a child-like faith and trust in Him. His constant prayer to God is:
“Lord, please guide me in every way so that I can serve you whole-heartedly. Please teach me your ways and discipline me if necessary, so that I can be more like you.”
Furthermore, the Spiritual Giant never considers himself to be one because he is aware of his sinfulness and need for God’s grace.
It is simple and yet so difficult to be a Spiritual Giant, isn’t it?
May God help us to be one in his good time.