“To God be the Glory” isn’t only a song worth singing – it’s a spiritual principle that must be followed.
Regardless of the Bible’s clarity on the situation:
- “For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”” (Luke 14:11)
- “For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.” (Romans 12:3)
- “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.” (Philippians 2:3)
There are some who still insist on being an obstinate Diotrephes (3 John 1:9). If their name isn’t lauded they want no part of it (whatever it happens to be). If they aren’t the center of attention they won’t be found (the limelight will never equate with the spotlight). If they aren’t first place there will be no place for them (number one is anything but lonely). If they aren’t the boss they won’t work (as if they would work regardless).
But regardless of how a glory hog views his or herself, in God’s eyes, a glory hog only ends up being covered in the mud of the far-country’s pig pen.
“For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.” (1 Corinthians 6:20)
Question: Is giving glory to God always a public act? Can it be a private one? I’m very interested in your perspective on this, since I have a “Do this and live” list, and the last one is “Give glory to God.” Can I do that privately, or ought I think of it as a public act?
“Never Say Never Again,” was a film starring Sean Connery as James Bond. But, as with many of Hollywood’s ideas, it isn’t exactly right.
Never forget, regardless of what accolades you win, what praise you receive, what “press” you get, God is the source of everything you are and have. One of the greatest pitfalls a preacher can fall into is to believe his own press. The word “press” means the things people say about you. You know how people come up to you while you’re “shaking out the congregation” and the first thing they say is, “That was a great sermon!” Of course, they don’t know if it was or not because they were asleep through 98 percent of it. The Apostle Paul has always impressed me with sayings like, “to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, be the glory forever. Amen,” (Romans 16:27). I try never to forget that.
Never criticize the elders from the pulpit. Some may disagree with this, but for the life of me, I can’t think of a single situation in which I should publicly criticize the elders. I guess it’s just too easy for me to go to them first. Now, if there is a bona fide issue, then why can’t I address the issue in the pulpit?
Never lie, period. Abraham Lincoln said, “No man has a good enough memory to make a successful liar.” I wish I could say I’ve never violated this policy, but I’m at the stage of life that I just never want to lie ever again. God is keenly interested in what comes out of our mouths. If you don’t believe that, just read the books of Colossians and James and you’ll find out. The reason why he’s interested is because whatever comes out of the mouth was inside the mind first.
The last is an admonition just for me: Never forget to call your wife! I don’t believe I’ve explained this publicly before, but my wife and I are separated by 700 miles. She’s in Tennessee completing her teaching degree and I’m in Michigan. It surely hasn’t been easy, but one thing that has eased the separation is to stay in contact. We see each other during holiday break and in the summer, but being apart is very difficult. I’m doing better at calling her. God be praised for the opportunity to suffer, though, because I think we’re both passing the test (James 1:2).