“God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” Luke 18:13

I see a small but important distinction in speaking about God and His glory. Consider this sentence (from my morning reading), “God does what he does for his glory and for the good of his people.”

Light Dispersion Illustration.This wording suggests that God does things “for” his glory and hints that to his glory something can be added. If something can be added to God, he isn’t God, for to God nothing can be added.

To glorify God is not a badge of honor for the super spiritual, but the humble awareness that God has chosen to reveal his glory and has made me a mirror to reflect who He is.

To bring glory to God is to reflect his glory in a way that others see his glory and begin to reflect him too.

Ironically, when attempting to glorify God I may attract attention to myself and participate in the first and worst sin, pride.  Consider the thousands of times something like the following is proclaimed.

“Sorry folks, I don’t eat that food, drink that drink, listen to that music, read that book, watch that movie, wear those clothes, or have that piercing/tattoo because all I want to do is glorify God.”

Talking like this might be a poorly veiled statement of personal pride.  At it’s core it suggests:

  • If you were as spiritual as me, you would agree with me on behavioral matters
  • What I do or don’t do adds to God’s glory which indicates that my decisions impact the is-ness of God.
  • I am just a bit better than you because…
  • Maybe I don’t reflect the Lord’s glory very well, so I better tell you how much I do.

Isn’t it strange how talking about wanting to give God glory just might be seeking to give ourselves glory?  “Please join me in glorying in my motivation to glorify God.”

In my understanding, glory is a one way street.  I have no glory to give God.  He is glorious and I am glory-less.

Maybe, if God helps me, I can become more aware of my absolute glory-less-ness and somehow reflect his glory off of this jar of clay mirror.