One source of stress in our lives may come from not accepting our God-given role in life. Our culture teaches everyone must be “top dog” or you are nothing. This mentality feeds the “dog eat dog” mentality to get to the top. Sadly this temperament not only resides in the world around us, but in the religious realm as well. This causes envy, jealousy and strife among the brethren as some desire to make “higher” positions the measure of their self-worth and value. It also causes inner turmoil when what they so long for seems to always be eclipsed by another.
One of the greatest keys to inner joy, peace and contentment is when we come to recognize our place while celebrating what may be the higher place given to another.
John the Baptist found himself in this precarious position in the gospel of John chapter three. John had been top gun for sometime. He was extremely popular among the common people. His disciples were staunch supporters and protectors of his position. So much so that they came to John telling him that he was being out classed by this Jesus whom he had baptized.
John’s reply is much quoted but less applied than what we many realize. John first commended Jesus and then said, “He must increase and I must decrease.”
John understood his place and was both content with it, all the while rejoicing in Jesus’ success. What incredible insight, wisdom, and humility from the one that Jesus would later say, there had been none greater among men than John the Baptist. Even so, when John relinquished his stardom to another, he not only rejoiced in the success of Jesus, he kept doing what he did until he could do so no longer.
He knew he was no less just because there was One greater on the scene. His decrease was not one of worth, but rather position for the time.
Do we practice this principle? Do we really give honor to the anointing God has given another that is truly greater than our own? Does jealousy cause us to want to either pull them down to our so-called level or cause us to strive to out class them with feeble efforts that will fall short and look foolish in trying?
Yes, strive to be all God has called you to be, but never strive or compete to be someone you are not. God’s grace is sufficient for your purpose. Your anointing is sufficient for that which God has called you too. Rejoice in both it and what God has given another.