There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light. (John 1:6-8)
The amazing prophets and servants we see throughout the Bible are an encouragement to our faith. They're amazing, and we can seek to imitate them. But only as they imitate Christ.
One of the big mistakes we can make is to think that we ourselves—our performance, our faithfulness, our courageous witness—that these are the most important things. And they do matter; there's no doubt about that. But these heroic efforts are not the point. Instead, they point beyond themselves towards Jesus.
At one point, Jesus said of John that there was no greater prophet than he born to a woman. But then John said that he would have to decrease so that Christ might increase. His ministry wasn't about him, nor could it be. It had to be about Christ.
Likewise, we will fail in our witness to the lost if we worry about how well we're doing, if we agonize over our own performance, if we imagine that it all depends on us. Because that points to us, not to Jesus. That draws attention to us and not to Jesus. And if we do well, we'll be tempted to pride, which, again, points to us and not to Jesus.
A genuine witness is not the light, but points to the light. His light shines through us.
Who are you praying for this week?