He must increase, but I must decrease.
Jn 3:30 (NKJV)
This verse used to make me feel small and insignificant. “I must decrease because I am useless, sin-ridden, incapable and inherently bad. Jesus must increase because He is good." I was weighed down with the burden of having to “do better” to be acceptable and always fearful that I would never be enough. "I am lowly and unworthy, but he is holy and righteous..."
The view that God takes pity on us and saves us because he can’t stand the state we are in has done so much damage to people's hearts. God LOVES us that’s why he saves us. While we were still sinners, covered in shame, unworthy and not asking for forgiveness, Christ died for us. In the words of Jerry McGuire (from the movie), God “completes” us...
This verse isn’t about you being diminished so that God can be exalted.
One day, Jesus and John the Baptist were baptising people in the same lake. More people were flocking to Jesus than were congregating around John. John’s disciples were getting jealous of Jesus’s larger crowd and popularity. They complained, but John remained calm and confident. He explained to them that his purpose was to herald Jesus, to make a way, prepare the people for what would come next… And here on the shores of the lake, he could see that his job, this part of the journey was coming to an end. He explained that it was now Jesus’ time to baptise and teach and fulfil the prophecies of old. John was passing the baton – “He must increase, I must decrease…” It was like he was saying “I must step aside as I have fulfilled this part of my destiny, and it's time for Jesus to fulfil his."
He says, “He who has the bride is the bridegroom, but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice. Therefore, this joy of mine is fulfilled.”
John is talking about comparison and significance. His disciples were jealous that Jesus was attracting a greater crowd. It’s not about who gets the biggest crowd, who has more influence, who's popular and known, famous or not… It’s about being authentic, true to your calling and finding great joy in being empowered by Jesus. Then watching others do the same. Don't be intimated by someone's moment in the spotlight. Just keep on doing what you were put on this earth for, what resonates deep within your bones. That is how you find true fulfillment. Vulnerable, humble, honest and confident.
John knew when to speak and when to let someone else take over. And that these changes in his vocation did not affect his value or impact in the Kingdom of God.
Don’t delete yourself to fit Jesus in. Gather all that you are, every nook and cranny of your life and fill it with him. Overflow it with faith, hope and love. He fulfils you, not subtracts you. It’s been his plan all along that the beautiful collision of the ordinary and the extraordinary, the natural and supernatural would be the grandest, most glorious miracle of all.
Let Jesus be Jesus and you be you. Don't try to play his part, just fulfill yours. You do your bit and let Jesus do his. Side by side, in divine partnership as it should be.