…at least, not in the way we humans normally think of things.
Say, “God’s glory is the most important thing to him.”
That’s difficult for me to say – is it difficult for you? Probably because if I said, “My glory is the thing that matters most to me,” it would sound incredibly proud, arrogant and self-seeking. When I say, “I want more glory,” it just sounds wrong.
Partly because it is.
To glorify something isn’t just to give it praise or worship – the empty-souled adulations of fans that last only for a fleeting moment and then are gone with the next trashy tabloid headlines.
To glorify something is to make a statement about it’s value. The problem is, we realize that when we glorify a human it’s dangerous, because that kind of glory is fleeting. It fades away. Why? Because we no longer value those humans.
Let’s say “God is concerned for his glory” in a little different way, without the “cultural baggage” that comes with the word “glory” for many fo us.
God wants to be the most important thing in our lives. Or, rather, God is the most important thing, and wants us to recognize him as such. When we do, we choose God over everything else, and that leads us toward the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Then, everything we do will point to God as the important person, as the reason for the choices we make. Following God should be revealed through our actions.
It is in knowing God that we find eternal life (John 17:3). Eternal life comes through the revelation of God which makes it possible for us to know him and to obey him.
When we “give God glory” – when we reveal Him as the most important thing through our words and actions – we are revealing him and making it possible for others to follow Him, gaining eternal life (and so much more).
Often times a phrase that we say about God can sound bad in our ears because we’ve applied it wrongly so many times to humans and it sounds bad applied to them–until finally the phrase just sounds bad, applied to anyone. But we have to leave behind that cultural baggage and figure out what the phrase means.
There’s only one way to do that, really: soak in the Word, be in God’s presence, and learn what it really means to give him glory – to give it by realizing and intentionally making him the most important thing in our lives.