William Wilberforce (2)
“Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant.” Mk 10:43 NIV
William Wilberforce’s biographer, Eric Metaxas, points out that the abolition of the British slave trade had even greater implications: “We had suddenly entered a world in which we would never again ask whether it was our responsibility as a society to help the poor and suffering. We would only quibble about how…Once this idea was loosed upon the world, the world changed. Slavery and the slave trade would soon be largely abolished, but many lesser social evils would be abolished too. For the first time in history, groups sprang up for every possible social cause.” That’s why Metaxas calls Wilberforce “The greatest social reformer in the history of the world.” Metaxas goes on to say: “The world he was born into in 1759 and the world he departed in 1833 were as different as lead and gold. Wilberforce presided over a social earthquake that rearranged the continents, and whose magnitude we are only now beginning to fully appreciate.” During his first years in Parliament, Wilberforce wined and dined each night and was touted as the “the wittiest man in all of England.” Looking back on it he wrote, “For the first years I was in Parliament I did nothing—nothing of any purpose.” But in committing to Christ he discovered his life’s purpose. It was not about achieving personal greatness, but about serving others. Today, go out of your way to help, bless and serve someone. If you do, when you get to the end of the day you’ll feel good about yourself. And God will feel good about you too!