"He who has the bride is the groom. But the groom's friend, who stands by and listens for him, rejoices greatly at the groom's voice. So this joy of mine is complete. He must increase, but I must decrease."
This is quite possibly my favorite time of year for sports. The baseball season is heading toward its peak, the football season is beginning anew, basketball is on the horizon, and my favorite, high school cross country, is taking off, as well.
My family has been looking forward to this cross country season with much excitement and anticipation. This is the year our two sons, Joel and James, get to run on the same team. (Joel is a senior, and James is a freshman.) So far, Joel has had considerable success in his high school career having qualified for the state meets in both cross country and track a total of five times.
In the first practice of the season, the coach put the team through mile time trials. This simple strategy gives him an indication of who's been working during the summer and the overall potential of the team. I excitedly waited for the boys to return from their first practice together and couldn't resist asking about it the minute they came through the door. Joel's response: "Dad, Jimmy ran his personal record time for the mile today and finished third among the team. The running he did this summer really paid off, and our team is going to be awesome. He's got the potential to be so much better than me." Not until I pinned him down and asked specifically about his performance did Joel talk about himself. It's was consistently team and others first.
As Christians, we are instructed to serve others, lift up others, support others and put Jesus first. How great is our Christian "team" when we do? Through our encouragement, others are encouraged and empowered to do the will and the work of Christ.
Today, humble yourself. Lift up others. You'll be amazed at what Jesus can do.
1. Whom are you lifting up today?
2. Do you relate to others with a humble heart?