“He must become greater; I must become less.”
John 3:30 (NIV)
It saddens me to listen to Christian leaders being praised as “outstanding”, “successful”, “Great” and so on. It is easy to look at the praise of authors printed on the covers of the books they write. It almost gets to the place where we say, “Aren’t we lucky to have such an amazing person in the Christian Church?” Leaders are feted and praised and lesser believers look on in wonder and praise of the individual.
There are opportunities for we lesser lights to obtain praise for ourselves as we speak of all our suffering or how we have endured opposition for the cause of Christ. It is so easy to try and take some of the glory to ourselves that rightly belongs to Jesus. Frankly it is an occupational hazard for all who seek to live for the Lord.
The man who spoke the words in our verse today was John the Baptist. It was him who received the following praise from Jesus. Luke 7:28 (NIV)
“I tell you, among those born of women there is no one greater than John;”
John was truly an amazing person to receive such high praise from the Saviour.
But John did not walk the streets of the towns soliciting praise from people. He quietly went about his work of preparing the way for his Greater Cousin, Jesus. John was the type of person who rejected praise for himself and did not boast of the great crowds attending his ministry. John never spoke of how devoted he was to the Lord. He did not talk about his own suffering and privation because of his work for the Master. All these things various Christian leaders engage in today. They love to bring attention to themselves by speaking of their accomplishments.
Our business is to so live that people do not pay attention to us but rather the Saviour we serve. This goal is not easy to achieve. We love the praise of others. We are pleased when we are introduced with flowery comments made about our achievements.
Where do you fit into the continuum of the family of God? Are you someone who loves to be praised? Do you so live that people are attracted not to you but to Jesus? Another wonderful word about John is John 1:37 (NIV) where we read,
“When the two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus.”
Seek to live without seeking praise from others. Work diligently to seek praise from the Lord Himself. Be pleasing to the Father by honouring the Son in the power of the Holy Spirit. You may not get praise from those around you but you shall be loved and blessed by the Father.