This past Saturday Vickie and I went as spectators to a ballroom dancing competition in Richmond. This was an amateur competition in which participants were scored according to various levels of experience and proficiency; for example, someone rated as a “Newcomer” was not evaluated by the same criteria as someone competing at a “Gold” level (there is Bronze, Silver, and Gold). Furthermore, someone competing at the Gold level in Waltz may only be competing at a Bronze II level in Rumba.
Participants may compete either as individuals or couples (be patient, we’re getting to John the Baptist). If someone competes as an individual he or she dances with a partner who is usually a dance instructor. Most of the participants competed as individuals with instructors.
One particular instructor from an out-of-town studio caught not only my attention, but the attention of, I dare say, all spectators and participants – he was high energy, animated, with well-articulated movements – he was quite the dancer, no question about it. Whether it was Tango or Cha Cha or Rumba or Waltz or Fox Trot or Swing…he was a master, it was hard for me to take my eyes off of him and his various partners throughout the day. His presence was undeniable.
On the way home I said to Vickie, “Wasn’t Frank (not his real name) amazing?”
“Well,” my spouse replied, “his job was to showcase the lady, not to draw attention to himself.”
Once again in life my wife saw something I was blind to. In ballroom dancing the gentleman is always to showcase the lady; and in the day’s competition, in which Frank was dancing with ladies who were competing as individuals, he should have especially showcased them and not drawn attention to himself.
John the Baptist’s ministry was to showcase Jesus Christ as God’s Son and the promised Messiah. John said, “He must increase, but I must decrease,” John 3:30. Is that my focus in life, to see Jesus increase and me decrease? Do I strive to showcase Jesus in my life or am I more interested in people focusing on me?
And what about the professing church? Are we attracted to marquee preachers and teachers more than we are attracted to Jesus? Do we talk to each other about Jesus or about the latest and greatest “take” on prophecy, politics, economics, social issues, or best-selling book? Is the Lord Jesus the center of our existence, do our hearts beat for Him, is our greatest joy displaying Him in our lives so that others may know Him?
Our lives are measured not by how much people notice us, but by how we’ve displayed Him; our lives will not be measured by our presence in the lives of others, but by His Presence through us in the lives of others. It is of no consequence whether people remember us; it is of eternal consequence that people know Him. He must increase, but we must decrease.