One of His Kids

 Kerri Ash, Volunteer Writer, South Barrington | December 26, 2023

You’ve heard me tell you that I am not the Messiah, but certainly I am the messenger sent ahead of him. He is the Bridegroom,  and the bride belongs to him. I am the friend of the Bridegroom who stands nearby and listens with great joy to the Bridegroom’s voice. Because of his words, my joy is complete and overflows! It is necessary for him to increase and for me to decrease.  
John 3:28-30 

Have you ever been a name-dropper?  I am embarrassed to say I have.  Although I didn’t realize it at the time, before knowing Jesus, meeting a celebrity or being related to someone accomplished in the world gave me a sense of special-ness. A feeling of importance.  Subconsciously, it meant that I stood out from the crowd and was maybe even worthy of some form of admiration. But once I found my identity in Christ, I discovered and came to truly believe that I am already those things to Him, without even trying! Special. Important. Fully loved.

Today’s passage is the response of John the Baptist when one of his followers pointed out to him that the man he has been teaching about, Jesus, is doing baptisms not too far away and with much larger crowds. The man saw this as a threat to John’s ministry and expected John to be upset about it. But John knew the big picture and celebrated that more people were finding Jesus. Jesus was John’s cousin (now, there is a name-drop!), so he could have used that position to gain something (like maybe a cheeseburger instead of the crickets he typically ate!).  However, John knew that his own ministry wasn’t about elevating or benefitting himself but rather preparing the way for the Messiah.  Just like groomsmen are overjoyed to celebrate the groom, John was overjoyed to celebrate Jesus.  

Note the last verse, “It is necessary for Him to increase and for me to decrease.”  John’s ministry decreased as Jesus’s increased—but this verse goes even deeper.  As we come to discover how precious we are to God, our need to be someone special in the world begins to fade. The desire for attention for what we do becomes unsavory because we realize that all of our success is only because God is part of it.  

My heart is to give God glory for everything in my life because I can do nothing without Him.  But admittedly, there is the occasional situation where my insecurities rise up and I can become overly invested in what others think of me. When that happens, my old default of glorifying myself with a humble-brag or a name-drop happens before I even realize it.  Thankfully, though, I have a very understanding Father with a loving Holy Spirit who will gently bring it to my attention. As my disappointment in myself starts to bubble up, my amazing Savior showers me in grace and forgiveness. Then, my heart is made right again.   

As we strive to make ourselves important to this world, we find more emptiness. But once we truly know how special and important we are to God, the peace in being one of His kids becomes our home.

Next Steps

Take a moment and imagine yourself in God’s presence.  Notice if you are feeling the weight of your sin or if you are basking in His delight in you.  If you have trouble feeling His delight, confess and receive His forgiveness.  Then allow yourself to receive and experience His immense love for you!