Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.
John the Baptist was someone who characterized the words of today’s verse. He boldly proclaimed Jesus as being better than himself, considering himself not even worthy of being a slave to Jesus (Luke 3:16). It wasn’t a matter of lacking self-esteem; John was just focused on the task he was called to do, not on himself. The growing follower of Jesus focuses increasingly on Jesus and less on oneself. As John himself stated, “He must become greater; I must become less” (John 3:30).
John’s calling was to point people to Jesus. This is the same calling for every Christian—whether in the desert, the city, the suburbs, or the rural countryside. Every Christian is urged, “Honor one another above yourselves” (Romans 12:10). There is no room for power, prestige, or privilege in the body of Christ. The emphasis must be on obedient service with an attitude of willingness to build up others. We honor those who serve by expressing our appreciation as well as following when they lead.
We can move from wanting the spotlight, to sharing it, to delighting when others are in it, to making sure others enjoy it. By valuing others above ourselves, we can express gratitude for all that God has done for us in Christ. God smiles when we live that way, showing we have the mindset of Christ himself.
Lord, thank you for these important reminders and examples of humility, pointing us the way to living faithfully for you. In the Savior’s name we pray. Amen.
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