“But he that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.” – 2 Corinthians 10:17
Everyone likes a pat on the back. Compliments feel good. I naturally take pride in something I created or improved. It is easy to compare ourselves with other people, to be proud of our influence, and to boast about our accomplishments. However, Christians should “glory in the Lord.” We should be proud of the Lord and rejoice in what the Lord has done.
When teaching sign language interpreters, I’m always amazed at the many definitions of English words. The word run has 396 different meanings in English. Each meaning is signed differently in ASL. There is only one ASL sign for the word glory, but there are 13 English meanings, including “shine,” “joy in Heaven,” “honor to God,” “perfect,” and “pride” or “boast.” The sign for glory cannot fully express the meaning of all of the English definitions, so we have other methods in ASL to make the meaning clear. (See Fingertips article for more information.)
It’s not about me! – The word glory often means to have pride or to boast.
“Thus saith the LORD, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD.” – Jeremiah 9:23-24
Does this mean we should never feel good about success? No, but we must realize that success comes from the Lord. God makes you different than other people. God gives you your personality, talents, abilities, and spiritual gifts. Since all were given, why would you be proud about them (1 Corinthians 4:7)?
We all struggle with self-glory. Church interpreters sometimes are proud of their signing skill and enjoy others watching them sign. Teachers sometimes are proud of their ability to make a lesson clear and understandable. Honestly, after I preach, it feels good when someone compliments my message. (I have noticed that some people are even proud of their humility!)
It’s all about the Lord! – We must realize that God alone deserves glory. He can do whatever he wants (PS 115:3). He made the heaven and the earth (vs 15). Godly reverence for the Lord should cause us to trust Him. God saves us. He sent his Son to die for us. He is our helper. He protects and leads us. He blesses great people and lowly people (vs. 11). He gives us much more than we deserve. We are His people and His sheep. We should “enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise” (PS 100:3).
God can use me! – I’m always amazed that God has uniquely used me. He has blessed Diane and me to reach and teach Deaf people. We have served the Lord in many states and several foreign countries. We have taught sign language to many people. It is a joy to hear that those we have influenced are now serving the Lord and teaching the Bible to others. And all the glory goes to the Lord!
God uses all, even small ministries! – Some people consider the deaf ministry to be a lowly ministry—a minority ministry. But we consider it a privilege to serve God in the deaf ministry. God loves Deaf people. He chose us for this ministry. He uses the foolish, weak, base, small, and the least to accomplish His work (1 Cor. 1:27-28). I am glad, because that means God can use me! And God can use you!
God is interested in all people. He is interested in all ministries. He is interested in your ministry. He sees the sparrow, and he sees you. God has used me, and God can use you. Begin this new year with a surrendered, humble heart, expecting God to do His work, using His Word, through His servant (you). Do what God has called you to do. Let Him get the glory. Make 2023 a year to Glory in the Lord!
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