Imprisonment and Doubt #3 November 22 True Humility
C. S. Lewis said, “True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.” I am not a humble guy. Pride is one of the hardest sins in my life. This has always been a struggle for me. The thing that is ironic to me is that I struggle with both sides of pride, the self-conscious part of pride, and I struggle with the egocentric part of pride. Any given day I can have sinful thoughts that I am the greatest, smartest person on this Earth, to the next day thinking that everything I do is useless and meaningless. That is why I enjoy that quote by Mr. Clive Staples Lewis (bet you did not know his name was Clive) because he can tap into the core of what humility looks like, thinking of ourselves less.
I have enjoyed studying John the Baptist over this last month or so. I try to make sure that I read as much as I can about a Biblical topic before I write. One of John’s most famous quotes he ever says is found in John 3:30, where he says, “He must increase, but I must decrease.” This is one of those common Christian jargon verses we like to throw around and make for some amazing Christian tattoos. But like many things in the Bible, things that have been written, we have lost the true meaning, the real depth of the beauty that John is saying. Sadly, I have to admit, I did not realize that John the Baptist said this in John 3. I feel ashamed to admit this, but when I first started reading, I said to myself, “I thought John 3 was all about Nicodemus and Jesus.”
Take today to really, really study a conversation that is had in John 3:25-30. A disciple and a random Jewish man (I am assuming) are having a conversation, and they ask John a question. They even ask it using “Rabbi” (which means Teacher), which is a huge sign of respect in the Jewish culture. The men proceed to listen to John as he waxed eloquent exaltations about Jesus. John was a man with a following. John was thought of as one of the champions of the Jewish nation, Elijah. John was a man who could out-preach the Pharisees. John was a man who knew his place.
John knew who Jesus was, as many reading this do. If we want to begin to think about Jesus as John did we have to answer two paramount questions:
1)What areas of your life do you need to start decreasing?
2) What areas of your life do you need to start letting Jesus increase?
Are you trying to control too much in your life? Are you afraid to give, or serve because you do not know when you would get that time or money back? Are you afraid to ask God how to serve Him because it might not be in your plans? When will you start acting like Jesus and finally stop gossiping, swearing, or talking negatively about someone? When we get to a place where those are the hard questions, we get to a place where John was. John was able to serve God faithfully, boldly, and so counter-culturally that he was used to be the small spark that ignited the Jesus movement. And it came from one simple idea; I am going to humble myself, so Jesus can indeed be seen through my actions.
Pastor Ryan Story