He Must Increase, But I Must Decrease

He Must Increase, But I Must Decrease

I pray that God would shine brightly in my life every morning, helping me shed any remnants of self-centered ego, pride, and “me focus.” John 3:30 says, “He must become greater; I must become less.” This profound statement was spoken by John the Baptist, God designated the forerunner to pave the way for Jesus’ ministry.

When John the Baptist’s mother, Elizabeth, was six months pregnant, her young relative Mary, who was pregnant with Jesus, came to visit. Scripture gives us a glimpse of baby John’s supernatural response to his calling: “When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit” (Luke 1:41). Elizabeth told Mary, “As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy” (Luke 1:44).

I close my morning prayer time with a personalized version of John 3:30: “He must become greater, I must become less.” This prayer reminds me to let God shine in my life like a sunrise and to decrease like stars disappearing in the morning light.

John the Baptist dedicated his life to preparing the way for Jesus. Many wondered if he was the long-awaited Messiah, but John was quick to clarify:

“I baptize with water,” John replied, “but among you stands one you do not know. He is the one who comes after me, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie” (John 1:26-27).

When John met Jesus, he knew He was the Messiah sent from God. John testified, “I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. And I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ I have seen and I testify that this is God’s Chosen One” (John 1:32-34).

Even when John’s disciples became jealous of Jesus’ growing ministry, John remained humble and set the record straight:

“A person can receive only what is given them from heaven. You yourselves can testify that I said, ‘I am not the Messiah but am sent ahead of him.’ The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom’s voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete. He must become greater; I must become less” (John 3:27-30).

John’s humility and understanding of his role inspire me. He knew his purpose and accepted it without envy. This lesson is vital today as we work in teams and support roles. While there’s only one CEO, leader, or boss, their success depends on dedicated support from others working towards the same goal.

We need to humbly remember that everything we have, we owe to God. By giving Him credit for all He has done in our lives, we become witnesses and testimonies to others. When people thank me for my work, I often respond, “To God be the glory!” or “Praise God!” This keeps me grounded and reminds me that my accomplishments are not just mine but God’s work through me.

Let us strive to let God shine brightly in our lives, decreasing ourselves so that He may increase. By doing so, we fulfill our God-given purpose with humility and grace.

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