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Topic: Pride
Scripture: Mark 9:35; Matthew 20:26; Matthew 23:11
Source: “THE LION CAGED” by William Manchester, as published on, retrieved 1/19/15
Author: Illustration Exchange

Winston Churchill was notoriously hard to work for. He was demanding, impatient, and oftentimes, downright rude.

On one occasion, a servant was bold enough to stand up to the man, taking strong issue with Churchill’s behavior.

Churchill, it is variously reported, responded saying, “You were very rude to me, you know.”

“Well,” replied the servant, “you were very rude to me, too.”

“Yes,” said Churchill, “but I am a great man.”

While some suggest the comment was made, at least to some degree, tongue in cheek, others, like Churchill biographer William Manchester, suggest that it was serious and in keeping with his difficult temperament.


Winston Churchill, prime minister of England both during WWII and again from 1951-55, was indeed a “great” man by any worldly standard. He is rightly reputed to be one of the greatest wartime leaders of the modern era. But “greatness” does not necessarily translate into “goodness.”

“Many,” said the great preacher Charles Spurgeon, “wishing to be great have failed to be good.”

In God’s Kingdom, greatness is not measured by accomplishment, but by character—character marked by humility, servanthood, and most importantly, agape love.

No doubt, Churchill, though flawed by perfectionism and impatience, was at heart a deeply caring and compassionate man. Nevertheless, accomplishment and position are no excuses for thinking oneself “better” than any other.

“Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, ‘Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all’” (Mark 9:35, cf. Matthew 20:26; Matthew 23:11).

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