Eternal Savior Lutheran Church

A member of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod

2688 North Park Drive
Lafayette, CO 80026
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February 19 – Seeking One’s Own Glory

“It is not good to eat much honey, nor is it glorious to seek one’s own glory.”  Proverbs 25:27

Devotional Thought For The Day

There is some contention about the second half of this proverb.  The Hebrew authors were quite proficient in limiting their language and the space used on the scroll.  This requires translators to supply connections between concepts – and not all are agreed.  However, regardless of how the translator chooses to understand the words, the passages can always be conformed to what the Scripture teaches in other places, so that no harm is done.  We have a reliable book of God’s Word in the Bible, and regardless of translational arguments, we do well to receive it as the highest authority for human faith, knowledge, and proper living [loving].  The majority of translators understand the words of this proverb as translated above.

We know what happens when one eats too much honey, too much candy, too much ice cream, or too much of anything.  We’ve all probably suffered at one time or another from eating too much.  What follows, the abdominal discomfort, perhaps even nausea, ruins the enjoyment of the feast, and may even destroy our taste for the thing we’ve eaten. This is the point of comparison to “seeking one’s own glory.”  It is sickening to other people when it becomes apparent that someone is only interested in their own elevation and glorification.  Glory should come to a person who doesn’t seek it for himself, but who rather pours his life out for the good and welfare of others [with no thought of himself] – like the Lord Jesus did, or like many mothers and fathers do for their children and family.  The person seeking glory for himself, and then receiving it [when he knows he is undeserving of it, for he did what he did selfishly, for his own aggrandizement], has to struggle with the nausea of knowing what he really is, and that he deserves no glory.  He must either self-delude or find no pleasure at all in the honors bestowed upon him.  The attitude that Jesus suggests is correct and blessed:  “So you also, when you have done all that you were commanded, say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done what was our duty.'”  [Luke 17:10]  The fact is that none of us has ever done “all that you were commanded,” and even if we did, we would remain “unworthy servants” who had simply followed orders.  No great glory there.

There is however great blessing and satisfaction in conforming to what is truly good and right, in living and doing out of real and genuine love [which does not seek its own, nor glory for oneself – 1 Cor. 13:4-6].  The satisfaction this yields, even though it is contrary to our sinful nature and requires self-discipline and sacrifice, is as sweet as honey – regardless of whether or not it brings glory.  In fact, it is less comfortable when noticed by others and glorified.  There is great sweetness in following in the footsteps of Jesus – vigorously seeking to do all that is commanded, and yet in view of Christ’s magnificent love for us understanding that we truly are “unworthy servants” who remain undeserving of any great glory, knowing that it is Christ alone Who deserves all glory and honor – for it is His love alone which enables and empowers all love [1 John 4:7,19].

There are many who seek glory, who pursue it as their chief aim in life – even though to do so is bloating and nauseating.  This is not good – and the discerning know that it can never bring real glory.  What should bring glory is humility and self-effacement in view of the great glory of Christ’s mercy and forgiveness, and all that He has done for us to bring us eternal life and salvation.  Strangely, it is glorious for one to humbly deflect away all personal glory, and to give all glory, praise, and honor to God.

Prayer For The Day

Dear Lord Jesus, Your mind and Your example of humility and subservience to love is the highest goal we can pursue.  The desire for personal glory and upward mobility caused Eve’s fall into sin, and has destroyed and embittered much of human life and being.  Thank You for the forgiveness and mercy You have provided for us, and for the call and instruction back to love and humility.  Bless us with more of Your mind and heart.  Amen.