This Christmas, my sister Kay gave my wife and I a simple gift that meant more to me than if she had spent a million dollars. My Mom was a devout Christian woman who had a heart for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. She would never want anyone to brag about her as she had a saying when she prayed. She would always pray somewhere in the prayer, “Help me to become ‘less of myself.’”
The gift was made from an 18-inch board and was painted white with black lettering that read “less of myself.” Then inscribed in very small letters was her name, “Foy Lee.”
If only we could be all in for the gospel and lived our lives in a manner of being “less of ourselves!” We could possibly make a huge impact for the Gospel as we take ourselves out of the equation and focus entirely on God.
The Bible speaks of this in several places and I will mention a few here. Before I do that, what does it mean to be “less of myself?”
Humility and humbleness comes to mind. Humble is defined as having or showing a modest or low estimate of one’s own importance. My Mom tried to live her life in a way that was pleasing to God. She was a humble woman, would do all she could to help anyone, and never wanted to be given credit because what she did was to honor God.
She had a heart for those who were downtrodden. I remember one year, she took in a homeless woman and helped this woman until she could get back on her feet.
My Mother was involved in a jail ministry. She and her friend, Athaleen Bazemore would go to the jail in Portsmouth, Virginia on a weekly basis and minister to men and women who were prisoners. They would share their faith and would lead those prisoners to Christ. My Mom was truly a marketplace evangelist, spreading the gospel throughout the community.
As Mom got older, retired from Belk’s, she moved to Agricola, Mississippi and lived with my sister Kay until she passed on into glory. In her last years, she would pray and always end with “Help me to be less of myself.”
In God’s Word, living a life by being “less of myself” is referenced in several passages. I have listed a few below:
“1 Corinthians 10:24-26, 24 Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor. 25 Eat whatever is sold in the meat market without raising any question on the ground of conscience. 26 For “the earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof.”
Romans 12:3, “For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.”
2 Corinthians 8:9, “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.”
James 4:10, “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.”
Micah 6:8, “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”
2 Chronicles 7:14, “if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
Matthew 23:10-12, “Neither be called instructors, for you have one instructor, the Christ. 11 The greatest among you shall be your servant. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”
Matthew 23:10-12 is one of my favorites because Jesus said that the greatest among you is servant to all. If we could just learn to not be puffed up and proud, but to humble ourselves so that we could be “less of ourselves,” then, quite possibly, we could be servant to all. The ones we serve in the name of Christ could very well come to know the true and living Savior, Jesus Christ. Becoming less of ourselves means that we die to self and then follow and live our lives in a manner that is pleasing to God.
If you want to experience God in a way that real and intimate, then pray a prayer like this: “Lord, I pray that I can put aside my pride, the puffed-up presentation of myself, and focus on you alone. Father, I have sinned against you by my conceit and proud behavior. I ask Father that you will change my mind and my heart, to focus on you alone, be servant to all, and transform me into the man or woman that you want me to be. Help me to be “Less of Myself.” In Jesus Name, Amen.”
Copyright © December 29, 2019. Marketplace Evangelism Today, a publication of Marketplace Evangelism Ministries Inc. All Rights Reserved.