He was something. Or at least he and others thought he was. He looked the part, talked the part, convinced everyone that he knew what he was talking about. Upon closer inspection, he hadn’t really done anything in the game, didn’t have anyone who cared to follow him, and was all style and no substance. But at least everyone knew who he was.

Across town was another baseball guy no one had ever heard of. He coached kids most others would ignore, never reaching the “pinnacle” of the coaching ranks, didn’t win many tournaments, never became known in coaching circles. But his players loved him, followed him, cited him as one of their great influences. And it was enough for him.

Proverbs 12:9 speaks of it this way–“Better is he who is lightly esteemed and has a servant, than he who honors himself and lacks bread.”

We will all be one of these guys. Either the guy who makes a big deal of himself, yet is nothing in reality. Or the guy who doesn’t worry about accolades and simply makes an impact on every life he touches.

We will all make a choice every day. Style or substance. Image or character. Fame or impact. Often, it’s one or the other.

Jesus is our ultimate example in this. He was “lightly esteemed” during his time on earth, ridiculed and crucified. Yet, no one has impacted the world more than this simple Jewish carpenter from a nowhere town. He simply did what he did, fulfilled the mission God gave him, sacrificed himself for the sins of the world, and worried little about his earthly reputation.

You and I are called to imitate him, to be on mission for his kingdom, to honor not ourselves but our savior, even if no one ever hears of us.

To God be the glory.

Lord Jesus, make much of yourself through my life. I want you to increase as I decrease. Amen.