Tuesday, November 11, 2014

THE GREATEST MAN WHO EVER LIVED: Utilizing Wisdom from the Greatest Teacher

The Greatest Man Who Ever Lived is a systematic guide to using the wisdom of one of the world’s greatest teachers, Jesus of Nazareth. One third of the book is dedicated to what one can learn from the examples and instances Jesus set for his disciples to follow, including his irrefutable communication skills. A few chapters towards the end of the book discuss in detail on who Jesus really is. In my opinion, this part makes the long and sometimes tedious journey of reading this book worthwhile. It seems the editors didn’t see the significance of this last part and put it at the end. In my view, had this been in the starting of the book, The Greatest Man Who Ever Lived would have been a remarkable book about having faith in the possibilities of following the way showed by Jesus. It is faith that can ultimately guide knowledge, although knowledge and faith and complementary. (No pun intended)

Image Courtesy: Steven. K. Scott
The Greatest Man Who Ever Lived is written by a big American businessman named Steven K. Scott, who is also active as a Christian minister. His success story is at the very base of The Greatest Man Who Ever Lived. He transformed his life from utter failure in eight previous jobs into the Billion-Dollar business success he is. Steven K. Scott attributes all his success to the phenomenal wisdom he received from the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth and reading the Book of Proverbs, written by King Solomon. Steven K. Scott is also the author of The Richest Man Who Ever Lived, The Greatest Words Ever Spoken, etc.    

By using Jesus’ example Steven K. Scott brings home the relevant message of overcoming a variety of roadblocks in our life. “He occasionally withdrew from the crowds to redirect his attention to more pressing matters,” (223) he writes about Jesus. According to Mr. Scott, Jesus never runs away from adversity. Boldness of Jesus is often seen in many occasions in The Bible. Jesus also had spiritually recharging prayer moments and “serenity spots” (to use a term by Dr. Wayne W. Dyer).

In his book on clear-sightedness, I Can See Clearly Now, Dr. Dyer narrates that during his sojourn as a university professor at St. John’s College, he was overwhelmed by pressing demands from his colleagues, students, and other staff members. This often consumed most of his available time at the college office. These hectic occasions seemed suffocating to Dr. Dyer. In order to overcome the spiritual fatigue that he felt on these “seemingly normal” college hours, he took refuge in the park adjacent to the office. There in the garden, sitting on a boulder, he contemplated himself in relation to the surrounding nature. “My serenity spot where I drank in the enchanting loveliness that was being offered to me seemed at the time a great way to put aside anxiety and let off a little steam,” declares Dr. Dyer.

Steven K. Scott’s reference of Jesus’ retiring to solitude is a strikingly similar picture to that of the life scrap exhibited by Dr. Wayne Dyer in I Can See Clearly Now. It also elucidates the importance of silence and contemplation.   
Image Courtesy: Google
By the act of using Jesus as an example, Steven K. Scott also briefs us on the significance of the ways Jesus elected in order to build his ministry, a movement that is alive and teaming with possibilities, even after two thousand years of its establishment.

In The Greatest Man Who Ever Lived, Mr. Scott invites his readers to understand the difference between a purpose driven life and a mission accomplished life. According to Mr. Scott, Jesus lived a “mission-accomplished life”. However, unlike Dr. Dyer, Steven K. Scott prioritizes the physical accomplishment of a mission or purpose, in position or wealth rather than a spiritual one. In Dyer, “mission-accomplished life” is a direct result of undertaking affirmations and not the physicality of achievement as we see in Steven K. Scott. Although I cannot say which method is more effective and practical, I could surely see the ingenuity of both these men in their respective works.

Ruling out the possibility of religious preaching, Steven K. Scott declares, “I’m not talking about religion or a religious experience, I’m talking about a relationship—entering into a committed union with God through Jesus, God’s Son” (329-30). The Greatest Man Who Ever Lived promises lessons from the life of Jesus, the greatest man who ever lived. It also prescribes communication techniques that are useful in daily affairs and in uniquely urgent contexts to reap successful results. The Greatest Man Who Ever Lived contains effective communication strategies for couples that can ease out any of the difficult circumstances that occur in families.

Most of the focus of The Greatest Man Who Ever Lived is rendered upon communication strategies, planning and mapping our visions for future, goals and how one can easily find the Right Way by following the ‘strategies’ employed by Jesus, one of the greatest teachers ever lived. Seventeen chapters delineate the principles that Steven K. Scott finds useful in order to achieve extraordinary success on a material level. However, the final six chapters are dedicated entirely to suggest that there is something beyond the mere physical realm of existence and success.
Image Courtesy: Akiane Kramarik

“Chapter-16” is a direct address on the subject of who Jesus is and why would someone Believe in him. In the process, he uses examples from the great book written by C. S. Lewis, titled Mere Christianity. It is in this chapter that Mr. Scott attempts to justify the basis of all his arguments. Although he has been elucidating “secrets for unparalleled success from the life of Jesus”, not once does he mention the credibility of Jesus in the beginning of the book. One might find in the earlier chapters the promises Jesus made, and the missions he accomplishes, but never a solid argument for the fact that he is the Messiah, up until Chapter-16. In The Greatest Man Who Ever Lived, Chapter-16 serves as a platform for the coming together of several historic arguments for and against the truth about Jesus’ claims. In Chapter-16, Steven K. Scott underscores that Jesus is who he claimed to be. Although the examples of success, he enumerates are almost always financial and physical, there are priceless pearls of wisdom—on communication soft skills, on Agape love (unconditional love with God at its centre) and positively clear analyses of what Believing means—that one can take home from The Greatest Man Who Ever Lived.

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