Sunday, January 15, 2012

Don't Misplace God's Glory

You know on Charlotte's Web, at the end, when everyone is singing the praises of Wilbur the pig: "He's Some Terrific, Radiant, Humble, Thing-a-Majig Of a Pig"... Well, I was contemplating that song recently, and realized something. It's not the pig who is terrific, radiant, humble, for crying out loud---it's the spider!!! The pig did absolutely nothing to make himself praiseworthy---it was Charlotte, his spider friend, who used all her gifts and abilities to make him shine. Did anyone ever think to give glory to the spider? Nope, she just gave birth to her most magnificent masterpiece...and then died. Talk about humility...

So, it got me (eventually) thinking about Hebrews 11. In this chapter, we find the Hall of Faith...all the great men and women of renown and all their worthy accomplishments in the name of faith. Not to discount these honorable brothers and sisters in the faith---but don't we see some liars here? Some murderers? Adulterers? I mean, when we look really closely, the things that make these people worth remembering are all the things that the Lord did in their lives by His power and covenant with them. It is nothing that they did on their own. They would be unmentionable nobodies---runts doomed to death---if it weren't for the Lord.

Now, I don't want to make a big deal out of what is meant to be an innocent and lighthearted story, I'm just using Wilbur's tale as an example.  We are warned about this practice of giving glory where glory isn't due in Romans 1:25 where Paul mentions the people "who exchanged the truth for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever."  

Sometimes God's glory can be misplaced and misunderstood.  The Lord does wonderful things through us and, often times, those around us see these wonderful things and begin to think highly of us.  It's fine for us to talk up our spouses or brag on our kids---as long as we ultimately give the glory back to God.  It can be something as simple as replacing, "My husband is so awesome.  He found this great job and is the best employee on his team," with something like this: "God is so awesome!  He blessed my husband with this great job and has helped him become a valuable member of his team."

Our family struggles with receiving misplaced glory a lot.  Our kids are well-behaved and converse well and politely with people of any age. My husband and I love each other and are one another's best friend---and it shows.  Our home is clean and welcoming.  Sometimes we feel like Wilbur, as those who see us from the outside tell us how great we are.  We have a responsibility to give that glory back to God, as we would have nothing and be nothing if it weren't for God's blessings in our lives.  Blessings we've done nothing to earn---but blessings, nonetheless.

I'm sure that many honorees in God's "Hall of Faith" would not have ever imagined that they would be known in history as faithful, loyal, Godly men and women.  Paul also tells us in Romans 3:23 that "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."  Even though we all mess up and find ourselves in less-than-honorable situations, isn't it wonderful that we have the opportunity to ask Jesus to cover us, restore us and set us up in His Hall of Faith as well!

From now on, when I think of these "great men and women of faith", I'll remember that they are only known as "great" because of the One who lives in them---the only true Great One, Jesus!

This post was published in Issue #45 of The Christian Home magazine. 

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  1. Very interesting post and I love the rewording of how to talk UP a family member without getting into bragging. We could all use some building up, especially if it is all with an eye on God and living the life he wants for us.

    Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts at this week's The Christian Home magazine. I'm looking forward to future posts, too.

  2. Sarah, This is a most thought provoking post. there are many facets to this and I will need to think on it awhile...I like that. makes me think :) Nicely written!


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Mrs. Sarah Coller

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