Thursday, August 8, 2013

Letting God Get the Glory

For those of you who faithfully check this blog daily I'm sorry there was no post yesterday.  I woke up with some crazy spinning in circles, nausea, dry heaving, hot sweats.  It was not fun.  Anyway, I'm feeling much better!
You know how little kids can be quite arrogant about their successes?  It's usually innocent, maybe even cute (depending on the age). 

I had to laugh at my sweet little nephew the other day who has become quite the swimmer at the young age of 4.  I told him how good of a swimmer he was becoming and he says very confidently, "I know.  I'm really good at it."  HA!

I've heard similar overly-confident statements from my own kids. 

"I'm pretty much the fastest runner mom." (hardly)

"I'm really good at cleaning up." (actually, not so much)

"I'm crazy good at reading." (hmmm)

For the most part, I let these little, should I say "arrogant" moments, slide.  Because at the heart of these words, is probably not a self-glorifying, arrogant child.  They are just learning and growing and excited about their matter how embellished they might rate them.

However, as they grow the tendency to continue to self-glorify gets stronger and stronger.

There is so much "Look At Me" business that goes on in this world, it's hard not to fall into the self-glorifying trap.  Everywhere we look it's happening. In fact, the world teaches that if we don't self-glorify we will be passed over or "one-up'd."

I always cringe a little when a massive, million-dollar company donates charitable goods or money in the public eye. It has become such a publicity stunt for these corporations that frankly it sickens me a little. They shamelessly throw their name out all over the place when they've done a good deed. It's rarely done in private or without a planned press conference. Good deeds have become good public relations.

But if we, as parents, are honest WE struggle with self-glorificaton ALL THE TIME.  When our children do exceedingly well at something or if they have a super obedient moment, we want people to see.  We'd like to hold our own press conference.  Am I right? 

And the real deal is that our motivation for wanting others to see how great our kids are is often because WE WANT SOME GLORY. 

We want respect.  We want credit.  We want parent-of-the-year status! 

"Wow! Your son is so respectful." 
We bask in the glory of what an amazing job we've done at teaching him manners.

"Your daughter is very obedient." 
We bask in the glory of the effectiveness of our balance and consistency in discipline.

"Your son is really smart for his age."
We bask in the glory of our teaching skills.

I know.  None of us want to admit we might think these things on occasion.  But let's not kid ourselves...WE DO.

An underlying reason for self-glorification is a competitive spirit.  Because with any form of self-glorification there is always some standard we use to measure our success.  So we compete and compare our parenting with other parenting styles...AND then self-glorify whenever it's clear that we set the standard.

Seeing that we struggle with this, it should be no surprise when we see our children struggle to resist the urge to self-glorify. 

I ran across a perfect verse to pray when considering this struggle:

Psalm 115:1

"Not to us, O LORD, not to us but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness."

I believe we were created by our God to bring Him glory.
Our story is for His glory!

And He sets the standard.  This verse perfectly credits the love and faithfulness of our God as the unmatched standard for receiving glory.

So as I parent my children, my desire should be for Him to receive glory when they succeed or do right. 

When they are respectful, obedient, or smart I should humbly profess:

"Not to me, O LORD, not to me but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness."  

Let's take a moment today to pray that our children learn to make the same profession:

Jesus, I pray that my children would view themselves and their successes with a heart and mind of humilty.  May they recognize in all things, YOU are to be praised.  May their standard for measuring success be established in Your perfect love and unending faithfulness.  May they resist the urge to hunger for and pursue self-glorification.  Rather, may their hearts cry out, "Not to me, O LORD, not to me but to YOUR name be the glory!" 

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