We want people to like us, to respect us, to be impressed. At least most of us do. Sometimes, this leads us to exaggerate our positions, our responsibilities, and our accomplishments. We aren’t happy with how folks may see us. If we are following God’s direction, we must move away from worrying about what people think.
So they said to him, “Who are you? We need to give an answer to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?” He said, “I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’ as the prophet Isaiah said.” – John 1:22-23, ESV
The people who came to ask John who he was pressed him for an answer. John could have proclaimed that he was the first prophet after centuries of silence. He could have talked about how he was the cousin of the Christ. While both of those statements would have been true, they would have been about John. John would be first, not God, and he would have been saying those things because he was concerned with what those folks thought of him.
Note how John responded. He described himself as a voice. Remove John the man. He’s just a vocalization. Haunting words on the wind, perhaps. John had a role. He was to prepare the people for Messiah, for Jesus. If these folks needed to know who he was, John would put their focus on God. John was not going to have them look at him, a sinful man trying to be obedient to a merciful God. No, he wanted them to see Jesus.
Yesterday I wrote not to be who people are pushing you to be if that’s not God’s direction. We can only embrace that position if we get to a point where we move beyond worrying about what others think. We must become like John, glorifying Christ and pointing all we interact with towards Jesus. If others understand who are we are supposed to be in God’s eyes and they are pushing us in that direction, that’s good. We need support. We need admonition and correction. Brothers and sisters in Christ should be providing that for us. We as brothers and sisters in Christ should be doing the same, helping each one in the Kingdom obey the Living God.
My prayer for you today is that God speaks to you about who you should be and what you should do if you don’t know already. It is also that you are able to focus on that, glorifying God, and in doing so enjoying Him all the more. May God be our first love to whom we return again and again.