John says in John 1:20: “I am not the Messiah.”
I think there are two fundamental questions that drive us: 1) who is God? 2) who am I? And the first question is the key to the second question for a very simple reason. If God knows you better than you know you, then you need to get to know God so you can get to know yourself. Think about it.
Half of the “who am I” journey is discovering who you are–gifts, personality, passions, etc. The other half is discovering who you’re not. And this is where true freedom is found. It starts with this simple acknowledgment: “I am not the Messiah.”
I think most of us spend way too much energy trying to be who we’re not. But the greatest freedom is having nothing to prove. And I think that is why John was used by God in such a great way. He knew who he wasn’t. “I am not.” In the process, I think we not only come to terms with things we’re not good at. We learn to laugh at them. In fact, the healthiest and holiest people on the planet, in my estimation, are the people who laugh at themselves the most.