A Refreshing Confession

“He did not fail to confess, but confessed freely, ‘I am not the Christ'” (John 1:20 NIV).

In recent weeks I have spent some time in the Gospel of John, reflecting on the meaning of ministry. What can I learn to help me have the spirit of ministry as I live my life as a church leader? What is the key to having a ministry lifestyle rather than just a job at a church?

These words from John the Baptist caught my eye and took hold of my heart. John had a self-awareness that is absolutely essential for anyone serving as a spiritual leader: “I am not the Christ.”

I have made this confession each morning for the last three weeks. The result? This confession has refreshed my soul and released me from bondage to self-will.

“I am not the Christ.”
The church doesn’t revolve around me.

“I am not the Christ.”
The church is bigger than me.

“I am not the Christ.”
The church can and will survive without me.

“I am not the Christ.”
Jesus is the head of the church, I am not.

“I am not the Christ.”
Jesus is the Savior, I am not.

“I am not the Christ.”
Jesus holds all things together, I do not.

Does your self-awareness include a healthy understanding of your identity as servant rather than Christ? Have you ever struggled with a Messiah-complex, acting as though everything depended on you? Do you sometimes mistake the importance of your will with the importance of God’s will? Are you susceptible to an identity crisis, forgetting who you are?

Make the confession with me, would you?
Repeat after me —
“I am not the Christ.”

Say it again —
“I am not the Christ.”

One more time for emphasis —
“I am not the Christ.”

Do you feel better? I do.
What a refreshing confession.
Now if I can just live today like I really believe it!

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