“He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less.“He must become greater and I must become less.” – John 3:30.
There is an acronym in Christian circles for the ego: “Edging God Out.” All of us have an ego—that sense of self that says I am a unique and valuable person, fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of God and I’ve got something worthwhile to contribute to this world. But when that self-appreciation of who God made us to be turned into self-importance, when it becomes a self-centered attitude that says, “It’s really all about me,” then our egos will rob us of much of the joy and peace that God intends for us to have in life. In our journey with the Lord, our goal is for Him to become greater and for each of us to be less.
It is John the Baptist who makes the statement in John 3:30. The Bible does not tell us but you have to wonder if John the Baptist, struggled with his ego when he was told by his disciples that “…everybody is going to him (Jesus) instead of coming to us” (John 3:26). It would seem to be a very human reaction since John was something of a local celebrity rock star. How else could people think about an eccentric, camel-hair-wearing, locust and honey-eating desert prophet? He was the talk of the town. Hundreds of people came to hear him preach and to be baptized in the Jordan River. His ministry was a success.
But now, all that is changing. The spotlight was shifting off of John and onto Jesus. While Jesus’ crowds were exploding, John’s were shrinking. For all intents and purposes, Jesus had basically taken over the limelight.
How would you react if you were in John’s shoes, and you were no longer the center of attention when the crowds started to decline? When his disciples reported that Jesus was starting to attract the crowds that had once gone to John, they were unhappy.
But John was not. He knew who was greater. And it was not John. John had come to prepare the way for Jesus. It was only right that Jesus should eclipse him. He must increase. And John should fade into the background and decrease. In the shadow of Jesus’ ever-increasing popularity, he displays beautiful humility. It was an awareness of Jesus’ worth and glory.” John demonstrates that real joy is found not in glorifying ourselves but in glorifying Jesus.
When we look at Christ, everything else fades away. When we consider who He is and all that He has done for us, we are overwhelmed with awe and admiration for the Savior. Only when we truly step aside, putting our ego aside, and look to Christ will we truly have comprehended the depths of salvation.
Like John the Baptist, we must remember it is about Jesus. He must increase, I must decrease.
It’s not about us or our ego.
- How do you view your ego? Is it too big and just about right?
- What can we do this week to ensure that Jesus increases and we decrease?