Glory

Have you ever wondered why we love a selfie?  It has become such an obsession that phone camera designers added the ability to turn a camera around by a push of a button.  Instead of pointing the camera outward, you can flip it around and point it at yourself. Why do we love pictures of ourselves? It’s not like we don’t know what we look like?  

The answer to that lies in the very beginning of the Bible when it describes the origin of the universe and cosmos.  You could say the four most important words in the Bible are, in the beginning…you?….No, in the beginning…God.

You see God has a rightful place as king of his kingdom because He created it. And as king, he is glorious. His glory is about God’s greatness, beauty, and perfection of all that He is.  All that He created was for His glory. We were created for His glory. When he put us together, he wired us for glory. We were made to live for the glory of God. It is in our DNA. In a perfect world, we would be happy to give God the glory for everything but we know this isn’t a perfect world. Our sin twists that desire for glory and instead of living for the glory of God, we look to ourselves and want to live for our own glory. It’s like a glory selfie.  

As we honor those that have achieved good grades over the course of the 3rd quarter, I want to make sure that why we want good grades is more than getting a free dress day and some free food. It’s more than wanting to be recognized for being a good student. All of those motivations are shadow glories and will disappear when you chase after them.  No, my challenge to all of you and myself included is to pursue excellence, work hard, and attention to detail, for the glory of God. The 4th quarter has already started and it is a time to finish strong. Not so that you can be recognized but because you realize that God has given you a mind, a body and a soul to be used to its fullest and without God you would be nothing.  

Why does God deserve all the glory? It’s not like what you see on TV when an athlete makes the game-winning shot and wants to start the interview giving a shout out to Jesus but then spends the rest of the interview talking about himself. We don’t do our thing and then make sure we send God a thank you note. We need to humbly realize that you and I would be nothing without God. Every brain cell, every muscle, every gift, talent, and ability comes from God. Can you read well? Does math come easy? Do you get good grades in Latin? Art? Music? PE? Give Him the glory for all you do because He should get it. He deserves it. You find success in those subjects because God gives you that success. You don’t have anything that God did not give you.

On the flip side, when you have the ability to use your mind and body or when you are called to show virtues of hard work, perseverance, and carefulness, and choose not to. You are stealing the glory away from God. If you are not working towards your full potential each and every day, growing in the grace that God gives you, for His glory, then you are moving in the opposite direction and seeking your own glory.  You think you are too important to do what a teacher asks you. You are going to do your own thing, your own way. You are not going to change your attitude because you think you are too righteous and don’t need to be corrected.

You see when glory is not given to God, it is an incredibly dangerous thing. We think more highly of ourselves because we think we deserve the glory.  My challenge to us all for this 4th quarter is to humbly admit there are times and places in each of our lives we live for our own glory. Then in a broken and contrite, humble heart, live our lives for the glory of God. What that will look like at school is doing our best and giving our best each and every day. Being humble in correction.  Working to be obedient with a happy heart.

The apostle Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 10:31  

“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”

We don’t have the strength to do that on our own. Our focus needs to be outward and upward. Not turned around on us. No more glory selfies.