The Art of Diminishing
John 3:30 He must increase, but I must decrease.
In every area of life, this verse should be heeded.
It maybe that this one short phrase so completely sums up the essence of Christianity that the rest of Scripture could be seen as an explanation of this one thought. I will be well guided in this life if I in every situation make much of Christ, and make little of me. There is only one way through the minefields of this world, and this principle will show you the way.
If I will learn to die to self,
if I will keep under my body,
if I will take up my cross,
if I will leave all and follow Him,
if I will become a living sacrifice,
if I will forsake my ambitions for His,
If I will learn to give of myself,
if I will love sacrificially,
If I will remember my Creator,
if I will endure hardness as a good soldier,
If I will walk in the Spirit,
and if I will exalt Christ,
It will be the fruit of learning to decrease while Christ increases.
This is the heart and soul of Bible Christianity.
The art of diminishing is this. In every situation, my duties revolve around taking the attention and carefully fixing it on Christ and subtly slipping to the background so that Christ is honored above all. It is the practical expression of humility.
Humility is an acquired art as it does not come naturally. You may think that you will do it in the public arena, but in private it matters little. But as it is in any area of skill, it is those who master the craft in private that ultimately have the opportunity to demonstrate it publically. So often humility seems canned or clumsy, but it is simply a betrayal that we have not given ourselves to honing the skill in the quiet places in our hearts. Nourishing pride in the secret places of our lives will ultimately cripple our opportunity to publically exalt Christ. Oh that I may exalt Christ in private, making little of me and my sufferings, so that when the opportunity arises, I can deftly point men to Christ and nimbly slip away while they are mesmerized by His beauty. Lord, teach me the art of diminishing!