Contemporary English Version (CEV)
It would have been easy for John to get carried away with his fame. Many were coming out to hear his preaching and to be baptized for him. Little by little, there were surely temptations for him to soak it all up, to let his popularity become the center of his attention, which would certainly have led to disappointment when Jesus came along and stole the spotlight.
Instead, John remained focused on his mission -- it wasn't to build up his own name or reputation, but rather it was to proclaim the greatness of Jesus Christ, to announce the coming Kingdom of God and the importance of repentance. The centrality of God's offering of grace was the most important thing to John, and he lived this out, every day.
It's hard to keep our vision focused on Christ in this noisy world, and there are so many small temptations for us to deviate our mission, to build up our own little kingdoms, day by day, until we realize that we've built a life that centers around glorifying the self. This can feel good, and the world often won't encourage us to think of others, but God is calling us to put faithfulness first, to serve others with love and courage, and to humble ourselves so that our lives may contribute to an eternal kingdom, rather than a temporary one.
John made Jesus more important each and every day. I pray for the wisdom to do likewise.