Have you ever known someone who shaped their life (or at least their conversations and words) around the type of actions he/she was always praised for?
In middle school, I was the kid who tried to be a punk skater because the cool crowd (the kids who I thought were loved by the most people) were all skater punks, and I thought that being like them would make me more popular. I thought that being a punk skater would fill my life with more acceptance – more love. And so I talked like a skater punk (I tried out new words and phrases that I definitely didn’t learn at home), I bought things that skater punks bought (skate shoes, flat bill hats, baggy pants that showed off my whitey tighties), and I acted like skater punks (I was a bit of a bully).
This was my story in middle school. I was so insecure about not being liked that I tried to be someone else who I thought was more likable. I saw hope in the skater punk lifestyle. I saw the belonging, happiness, and acceptance that my skater friends seemed to have. And I wanted so badly for people give me happiness and belonging that I shaped my life around the stuff they did. I saw glory in being a skater punk. And that shaped my story (at least in middle school). Where I found my glory began to shape my story.
And this idea is true for most of us, too, because I think that a lot of us still have that middle school mentality – that the things that tell us who we are become the things that tend to define and shape the other parts of our lives. I believe that this idea is also true in every other area of our lives. The things that tell us who we are become the things that define and shape the story of our lives.
In other words…where you find your glory will always shape your story.
But this concept is nothing new, however; it has always been true. This has been true for thousands of years. It was even true back in Jesus’ day.
In Jesus’ day, the religious leaders got all bent out of shape that some of the most powerful evidence for Jesus’ divinity (his resurrection of Lazarus in John 12) was ruining their influence. So, in that text, they actually said *out loud to each other* that they should kill Lazarus again – Lazarus, whom Jesus just raised from the dead!
Let me say that again…they actually said to each other that they should take the life of the one who had been given life from the Lord of Life! What did they think would happen? Did they think that Jesus would be somehow limited or handicapped by a double death – like Jesus could give life once, but not twice? But in their selfishness and pride, they couldn’t even think straight.
The truth is this: People don’t reject Jesus because the evidence or the intellectual coherence is lacking. The religious leaders were blatantly looking past the most substantial evidence you can imagine: a dead man walking. But they rejected Jesus, and found excuses to do so, because they wanted to…because he was taking over their world. He was taking away the glory they were so used to receiving from their people, and directing it to God, alone. And they didn’t want that. In fact, they hated it.
This is the lesson I draw from this shocking encounter in John 12: what you love most will be what you continually portray about yourself to the world. If you love the glory of man, you will confess the things men give glory to; but if you love the glory of God, you will confess Jesus with your lips and with your life.
The behaviors and pursuits of your life will always be based on whose affirmation and honor you find the most satisfaction from. In other words…where you find your glory will always shape your story.
So here’s my encouragement to you today: go all out in seeking the glory that comes from God, rather than living for the glory that comes from man.
Last year a student of mine sent me a Snapchat message saying how she would love it if I could write a devotional book because she was feeling like she needed to get back on track with God. That conversation inspired a new devotional.
My hope and prayer for you, if you read through my new book Walking With God, is that you can begin to build habits into your faith that will put you on a path to walk with God. No one can walk with God in a hurry, but if you commit to this journey, there are more blessings in your future than you could possibly know.
You will find chapters on…
- Gospel motivation.
- Purpose in life.
- What it means to be part of God’s family.
- How to function with other believers.
- The glory of God displayed in us.
- Hearing from God.
- Communicating with God.
- Spiritual gifts and calling.
- Simple faith.
Join me on the journey of discovering purpose, calling, and more. You can pick up your copy of Walking With God in paperback or Kindle ebook.