Ben Reaoch | Category: Sunday Follow Up, Theology for Life
John the Baptist provides a stunning example of humility, and we can praise God for this evidence of grace. As John’s ministry was diminishing and Jesus’ ministry was gaining momentum, John had no hint of jealousy or rivalry (read in the Gospel of John 3:25-30). John humbly recognized his role, and he was happy in that role. “He must increase, but I must decrease.” What a great life mission that is. Wouldn’t it be great if each one of us, each and every day, woke up preaching this to ourselves!
In Romans 12:3-8 this principle of humility is applied to horizontal relationships. We should be happy for others when God grants them very fruitful ministries, even when their ministries seem to be more fruitful than our own. Jealousy and rivalry will steal our joy, but there is great happiness in humility. Here are 3 practical ways to pursue the kind of humility we see in John the Baptist’s life.
When you’re tempted to be envious of a particular person because of a certain gift they have, pray for that person and look for ways to speak well of them. William Law, who lived in the 1700s, encourages us in this way, “If . . . someone is leaving you behind, and you are becoming jealous and embittered, keep praying that he may have success in the very matter where he is awakening your envy; and whether he is helped or not, one thing is sure, that your own soul will be cleansed and ennobled, that you will grow a little nearer to that stature of the Baptist.” (quoted by Kent Hughes, John, page 100). And we can add . . . nearer to the image of our Lord Jesus Christ, who humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross (Phil 2:3-11).
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