Home > Books on Spiritual Formation, Ramblings, Spirituality > Choosing the way of littleness

Choosing the way of littleness


“I must decrease so that He may increase”, said John the Baptist. To do this means that we take seriously Jesus’ command to “deny ourselves, take up the cross and follow him”, to take seriously Jesus’ example in which He voluntarily gave up the exercise of His rights. Mark Buchanan writes the following:

At root, the spiritual life consists in choosing the way of littleness. I become less so that Jesus might become greater. Its essence is No–No to ourselves, our impulses and our cravings, our acts of self-promotion and self-vindication, our use of power for its own sake. It calls us to deny ourselves possessions, rights, conquests that we’re tempted to claim just because we can. It is growing, day by day, into the same attitude that Christ had, and by exactly the same means: emptying ourselves, giving ourselves. It is refusing to grasp what we think is owed us and instead embracing what we think is beneath us.

Simply behold, in love and wonder, what you have strength to crush. Exercise power–power you might use otherwise–to serve, bless, protect. 101

I wish that I could do this once and be done with it.  Yet, I know it is a daily choice I must make–choosing His will, His desires and considering the needs of others as more important than those of my own.  At times, everything within me resists this and yet I know this is the path of joy and fulfillment.  I know that if I hold onto my life, I lose it and if I give it up, I will find it.   Buchanan gives a final challenge:

Do this: think of a situation where you have been tempted toward and maybe resorted to, the exercise of sheer power.

What would love look like?

What would servanthood?

Ask God to show you, and then do it.

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