“So John’s disciples came to him and said, “Rabbi, the man you met on the other side of the Jordan River, the one you identified as the Messiah, is also baptizing people. And everybody is going to him instead of coming to us.” John replied, “No one can receive anything unless God gives it from heaven. You yourselves know how plainly I told you, ‘I am not the Messiah. I am only here to prepare the way for him.’ It is the bridegroom who marries the bride, and the best man is simply glad to stand with him and hear his vows. Therefore, I am filled with joy at his success. He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less.” – John 3:26-30
John’s reaction to this apparent competition was to point clearly at Christ, to acknowledge that God’s desires must be far more important than his own.
To me that is a challenge. Is my attitude to say, “God you must become more in my life and my desires must become less”? How do I point at Christ in my own actions? Jesus outlines it later on in Chapter 13.
“So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” – John 13:34-35
The truth is that I don’t love everyone. In fact, there are some qualities that are guaranteed to put me off side – take selfishness for example.
But God doesn’t see a selfish person. He sees someone who He has created in His own image (Genesis 1:27), who He has a plan and a purpose for (Jeremiah 29:11), but who has been lead astray by selfishness. Selfishness is preventing (or distracting) them from being all they were designed to be
So instead of writing people off for qualities that I can find grating, I should really consider how I can
- decrease my own opinion
- allow God to increase my understanding of His love, and as a result
- encourage others to be all they were designed to be.