I have been reading and studying the book of John, and have been particularly struck by John the Baptist. This man is an amazing picture of humility. He had one focus and goal: to bear witness about Jesus (Jn. 1:7). All of his ministry was baptizing and preparing people to receive Jesus as the Savior. And once Jesus began His ministry, when all the people coming to John began going to Jesus, others pointed that out to him. And what was his response? He compared it to being the friend of the bridegroom, saying his joy was completed; “He must increase, but I must decrease.”
How many of us can really say that everything we do and say is the goal and focus of lifting Jesus high? This is definitely my desire, but when the rubber meets the road, there are times when this is much easier said than done. It’s easier to give glory to Jesus when you are being noticed … it’s much harder to do it when no one sees the work you are doing – when countless hours of time and energy have not been recognized, and maybe even others are praised instead.
How do we fight to keep Jesus front and center of every area of our being? When our flesh is craving recognition and the world is telling us we deserve it, how do we combat the lies that we are justified in our wrong thinking?
From John’s life, we see that he was always talking about Jesus. He was pointing the focus back to Him. And when asked about who Jesus was, he didn’t waver in declaring Him as the Son of God. He continually spoke of what was true, and didn’t give himself an opportunity to dwell on the bait for self-pity.
Another thing we see is that he walked in open humility. He never elevated himself above his position. He was very clear on what his purpose was, and was not afraid to tell that to others. He wasn’t looking for praise, but instead was always looking to direct praise to Jesus.
The disposition of our hearts and lives must be to be focused on Jesus, and for others to be directed to Him through everything we do and say. Even if we do things that others will never see, we can know that as we are doing it unto Him, He is being glorified. When we truly see the worth of Jesus Christ and love Him with our whole heart, this won’t be a burden: it will be a delight.