Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name give glory,
for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness! (Psalm 115:1 ESV)
In the bronze age in the ancient world the ultimate goal was glory. This was the driving motivation of the ancient Greek heroes. It was, in essence, the way toward immortality as it would cause your name to be remembered through the stories and songs sung about you. You would seek the gods in order to help secure that glory for you. So it is a striking contrast to read the Psalmist begin his prayer, “Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name give glory”.
Still today people seek their own glory. It may not be in the same way of the ancient heroes, who sought it by name, but it is the same pursuit. Today people pursue their own glory by trying to be the most popular at school or get a laugh, or by getting the best grades, or that job promotion, or better house or car, etc. None of these things are bad things until they become attempts at your own glory. That is when they become idols and gods like the ancient Greeks worshiped.
A Christian is different. His identity becomes wrapped up in Jesus and his love grows for Jesus. That is why the Christians seeks not his own glory but the glory of Jesus. The Christian, in other words, is not empty anymore. He does not have the hole in his life that needs to be filled with the pursuit of his own glory.
In what ways do you seek glory for yourself?
Pray this psalm as your prayer today.
McCheyne’s reading plan: 2 Ch 5, 1 Jn 4, Na 3, Ps 114-115