He must increase, but I must decrease. John 3:30
In our society we are flooded with opportunities for increase. Increasing our value seems to be what we were made for when we look at the way we live. Society has dictated what it means to live a life of significance and anything less feels like getting left behind. The pressure to perform, to prove ourselves, perpetuates our collective inability to rest. Can you imagine if all areas of your life were so focused on increasing your view of Jesus that you were able to REALLY rest in Him? Nothing to prove. No one to impress. No collecting of accolades needed because you are fully satisfied by the knowledge that you belong to God and everything in this life is only yours because He has ALLOWED you to have it. That’s rest! But let's look at what it means to decrease. Can we come to terms with how big we really are? We can compare ourselves to our favorite celebrity and feel confident that in our small corner of the world we are seemingly insignificant, but how hard do we strive to be more in our everyday lives? What drives us to fight? What motivates our ambitions? What causes us to even open our mouths? We are busy with increase and the fight against it seems futile. If I spend some time in self-reflection, I can point out a million times a day where I am busy with promoting myself through my actions or words. I know this sounds bleak, but I think it's important to have an awareness of our flesh so we can apply grace to a world full of people caught up in the tides of pride. Let's not fool ourselves, we’re in there too.
So how do we instantly increase Jesus in a world that doesn’t even recognize the magnitude of holiness? Well, unfortunately, we can't. But when we aim to live lives that reflect His love and His desire for His created people, we can pray that we would be honored enough to see that decrease of self in the lives of others as He fills the trenches of their hearts. Embrace Grace is a ministry that does just that. The stories of women choosing to decrease in order to be a part of bringing another image bearer into the world are beautiful. By shepherding the hearts of mothers toward the acknowledgement of their Lord and Savior they are able to assign worth to the lives growing inside them regardless of the impact they might have on their ambitions in life. A woman living in a world that tells her that her identity is in her accomplishments and performance is now facing a life of self-sacrifice as a mother. Can we be examples of what that looks like for her? Can we as Christians walk in ways that are proof that living life to the fullest means living under the increasing reign of Jesus Christ in our lives? Let's show the world what safety and rest in Him looks like, after all, there are lives at stake.