Whose Glory Do You Seek?

John 5:44 (ESV)

How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God?

If we are displaying our spirituality to impress men, still seeking honor from others, still living to appear righteous, special, or “anointed” before people, can we honestly say we have been walking near the Living God? We know we are relating correctly to God when our hunger for His glory causes us to forsake the praise of men.

That’s what our study verse is about—seeking God’s glory instead of your own, an action Jesus was calling out the Pharisees on in this section of John’s gospel.

In this age of instant feedback, how easy is it for any of us—Christian and non-Christian alike—to get wrapped up in the number of “Likes” we get on social media, to a point it can become detrimental to our health and well-being if such accolades from our peers is not achieved. We have taken the old concept of “keeping up with the Joneses” to whole new extreme. An extreme that is now claiming lives of children, teens, and adults. Our entire self-worth can be wrapped up in how we are perceived on these social media sites.

As Jesus taught in the temple, he reminded the Jews in attendance that how one who speaks on his own authority is not seeking God’s glory, but his own (John 7:18). Seeking our own glory is nothing less that appealing to our own sense of vanity and pride. We seek this so our status before other men can be established or elevated, and for what?

We should remember how fragile the glory of men can be. Remember how Paul and Barnabas were thought to be gods in Lystra, only to be stoned a few days later because of the persuasion of other Jews from Antioch and Iconium (Acts 14:11-20). How fleeting praise and glory can be.

Instead, we should be more like Job who recognized his position before God (Job 42:1-6). This type of self-reflection allows us to be bathed in His glory, washing away the desire to seek glory from other men.

We are to seek God in our hearts and if we truly have found Him, humility will override any desire for self-glorification. When we truly realize who He is and who we are in comparison, how can we even consider our own glory?

Find God today, and once you have Him in your heart, determine to live the rest of your life in pursuit of His glory, not yours. For in doing so, you will see your fellow man in a whole new light. Instead of looking down on others different than you, you will desire to lift them up to bask in His glory as well.