My favorite part about my church camp years wasn’t the outdoor activities or the service projects or even the bonding time with girls from my church…it was always the music!
There is one song that sticks out in my mind as I write this, the bridge and chorus of which goes like this:
“Take my life and let it be
All for You and for Your glory
Take my life and let it be yours
Glory to God, glory to God
Glory to God, forever
Glory to God, glory to God
Glory to God, forever”
So long ago, I sang these words along with everyone else during worship. I find myself coming back to that now, wondering if I really understood the power within what I was saying.”Glory to God”…easy right?
What has been on my heart lately is glorifying God when working to better His kingdom. Ultimately, bringing others to Christ, volunteering and other acts of kindness – doing good things – is about God, and generally we say it is “all for His glory”…but it sure feels great when you get some of the ‘glory’ too.
If you knew me in high school, “glory to me” sounds more like it.
One big aspect of my personality is that before becoming more stable in my faith, I had a tendency to manipulate people. I’ve always been really good at reading others, which is an excellent skill to have, but also a dangerous one.
Accepting Jesus as my Savior didn’t my thoughts and desires and turn them a complete 180° right away. As I grew, I constantly struggled with the desire to share my faith just to get attention and recognition for myself. Sometimes, my intentions in offering advice or caring for people were skewed – remember, I was good at saying the right words. This caused me to very poorly love some people in my life and ultimately lose valuable friendships – eventually some people in my life could see right through me to my true intentions: to glorify myself.
I loved hearing things like “you’re the best Christian I know” or “you’re such a good person” and believe me, I heard those words more than a few times.
But later, I also heard words like “you’re such a hypocrite”.
And were they wrong?
Looking back on the years of growing I have experienced, especially the last year and a half of being in college, I can freely admit that that was who I was. It hurts to know that I could be so unkind to others and have so little respect for the sacrifice that Christ made for me on the cross that calls me to love others unconditionally.
But I am not that person anymore!
As I have grown in my relationship with Him, God has really just broken my heart for the people in my life who don’t know Him. I touched on this a little in my post, Think Again. Sometimes when I think about it to much, I find myself crying over the brokenness of the people in my life. It has become less and less about me and I have realized that even if my intentions had been pure, I could never even hold a candle to how incredible God is and how infinitely He should be glorified.
I guess what I am saying is that I just want the people in my life to know Jesus. I want them to know that they are loved, that they have value and it isn’t found in friendships or popularity or school or creating an identity for themselves. I don’t have any desire for the affirmation that I used to receive, I’ll take the harsh words if it means that God is placed on a pedestal and I am humbled.
One day, we will bow at the feet of the Lord of the Universe up in Heaven. There will be no more pain or hurt and all glory and honor will be His, for endless days.
Until that day, I pray our hearts break for those around us who don’t know Christ; that we would be fearless in our pursuit of Him.
And that we would no longer live a life for our own glory, but for His.
Take our lives and let them be yours.