Needing Less When I Want More

He must increase, but I must decrease.
— John 3:30

I know what it's like to feel unnoticed or unappreciated, and to then try and make myself visible to those around me with good works. To want to have just one person acknowledge my good ideas and efforts--to see me.

It's in our nature to desire to make up for the lack of attention from others. There's something inside of us that wants to be noticed and valued. When we don't feel we're getting that, we can go to unhealthy places of building ourselves up, trying to get ahead, or serving with the wrong motives.

I get it--it's discouraging to work hard and watch others get promoted ahead of you and to feel like you're being taken for granted. I think we've all been there. You've probably felt the proverbial punch in the gut when you've given so much only to be unrecognized.

Like I mentioned above, when we feel these emotions we have a tendency to want to make up for the gap in recognition. We want to make a play that gets us noticed. We want to increase our position or visibility so that others will recognize us.

At the beginning of 2017, God put the word "decrease" in my heart as my theme for the year. I felt deeply convicted to focus on becoming less so that Jesus could become more in my life. Hence, John 3:30 became my verse for the year.

Someone, maybe you, needs to read that verse today. To be reminded that it's not about you, but it's about Jesus. It always has been and always will be. When you can be honest with yourself that it's about Jesus, this verse will become important to you.

This verse is the words of John the Baptist. Jesus had begun baptizing--something John was known for. John's disciples come to him and point out as much. This is when you or I might cringe in pride, but not John. In fact, he proclaims that his joy is now complete! John recognizes that the time has come for him to start taking a step back; to decrease and for Jesus to increase.

When you feel the need to increase--to want more recognition and affirmation--decide to take less. Choose to want less; to decrease. When you decrease, Jesus is increased in your life. And when Jesus is increased in your life, the Son is glorified and God is honored.

Don't you want that from your life? Less stress over being "someone" or to perform for people and greater peace that Jesus is being glorified through and in you. And to be quite honest, "whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted." (Matthew 32:12)

Seek the decrease in life. Choose to fade into the background so that Jesus is increased.