We all remember those “greater than” or “less than” symbols we used in math class: 1 < 3, 5 > 4, etc. It’s a principle we can apply to our Christian lives as well. On 99.1 Joy FM in St. Louis during their Moment in the Word on June 9, 2017, they pointed to the following verse:
He must become greater; I must become less. —John 3:30
Spoken by John the Baptist, these words remind us that we must always allow Christ to be greater than ourselves. We must recognize that we are always less than him. In everything we do, we must apply the “greater than/less less” equation to it.
Is this activity making God greater or making me greater?
Is this approach to something making God less than ourselves?
God is the one who is in control of our lives, not ourselves. We need to let him lead and not try to take the reins from him. I think of that song “Jesus, Take the Wheel” by Carrie Underwood. We need to let Jesus steer us in the direction he wants us to go every day of our lives.
And living as “less than him” is not putting ourselves down; it is a way of acknowledging and celebrating our place in this world. We are not alone in this life to fend for ourselves. We are connected to a higher power that is watching out for us and protecting us.
Living as “less than” then becomes a life lived marked by humility. John the Baptist recognized that his name was not to be the one on the marquee. He pointed people to Christ, the headliner. We need to do the same in our interactions with others. “Don’t look to me; look to Christ,” we must say to one another. And don’t lord over others because of anything you have done. As the Bible says,
Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. —Philippians 2:3-4
I am reminded of that refrain often used in Christian circles: God is good all the time. And the people respond: All the time God is good. In light of what we are talking about here, I propose we start a new refrain: God is greater than all the time. And we respond: All the time God is greater than. That gives me great comfort and lessens my load. Praise be to God.