The Latin word of prestige means “to create an illusion”. In other words, to trick someone.

As we endeavor to have people think more highly of us, we create illusions that don’t line up with who we actually are.

When we seek “great things” for ourselves, we are trying to create an illusion. We want people to see our stuff. We are hoping for a misdirection. We want others to look at what we have carefully constructed to distract them from the truths we are afraid of within ourselves.

The calculated care and wisdom of the Lord doesn’t want us to stand propped up on lies. For our best good, he wants to expose the illusion of superficial prestige so that our full calling might be awakened and enacted.

The “great things” we pursue are often idols. They are prestige. We are trying to climb a mountain to show how high we can go. Old as the Tower of Babel (old as the Fall) is humanity’s desire to make themselves great in the eyes of others, rather than be all God made us to be.

God is for us. He has filled us with the power of his Spirit that gives us all we need to pursue the life of a faith superhero. The true manifestation of our good is rooted in the deep relationship of truth and our trust in him.

“Should you then seek great things for yourself? Do not seek them. For I will bring disaster on all people, declares the Lord, but wherever you go I will let you escape with your life.”
– Jeremiah 45:5