He Must Increase But I Must Decrease

In my Lenten devotions this week, I was reminded of John 3:30.  John the Baptist’s disciples are not happy about Jesus coming along and taking the spotlight off John.  John, however, tells them that he is filled with joy because the Messiah has come.  John’s mission means that “He must increase but I must decrease.”

Tom and I have been working as full-time volunteers for over two years now.  We really appreciate it when someone thanks us for working.  We don’t do it for the recognition, but it is nice to know that someone notices what we do.  I think all of us like to have our contributions recognized by others.

How do you feel if someone else gets the recognition for something you did?  If you think of something but someone else takes the credit?  While we may not want to stay in the spotlight, few of us want to be unnoticed.

John the Baptist responded to this concern of his disciples with, “He must increase but I must decrease.”  The Baptist did not care that Jesus was also baptizing.  John did not feel that he should have more disciples because he came first.  Instead, John’s joy was complete because Jesus was getting the attention and John was fading into the background.

We need to be more like John the Baptist:  joyful when our actions shine the spotlight on Jesus.  We should be happiest when Jesus is glorified.  It shouldn’t matter to us if we get any credit.  Our goal, as Christians, is to shine the light on Christ, not ourselves.  To GOD be the glory!

How can you live so that Christ is glorified?  One way might be by shining the light on someone else today.  Is there someone that you can lift up?  Consider telling others about the wonderful job a spouse or a coworker is doing.  Deliberately step away from the spotlight so someone else can shine.

Every day, I will pray that He might increase.  In order to do that, I must understand that I have to decrease.  It is not about me.  It is about Jesus and sharing his love with the world.