Originally published January 20, 2016:
How can I glorify the Lord Jesus Christ today? Such a question sounds very pious. But the degree of piety actually depends on the attitude, motivation and emphasis of the person asking the question.
All too frequently, I find myself asking it this way: “How can I glorify the Lord?” Underneath that slightly more honest question lurks an even more insidious question. I want to know how I can show off my spirituality by doing something that appears to glorify Him (but actually draws attention to me). Sadly, I know how to frame words so that people can’t see that I use Christ’s glory as a platform to promote myself.
I could, with all truthfulness, say that everybody falls into this same trap. And nobody could argue that point…not if they looked at themselves honestly. All of us suffer with tainted motives steeped in self-centeredness, and it simply does no good to deny that we love to feed our egos. But my mother always said, “The fact that everyone else does it doesn’t make it right.”
Thankfully, Jesus Himself frees me from my sin of hypocrisy. I can’t glorify Him from a pure heart, but He glorifies Himself by forgiving my sin and purifying my heart.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. ~~1 John 1:9 (ESV)
He then shifts the emphasis back to Himself, where it rightfully belongs. He helps me rephrase my question, so that I ask, “How can the Lord Jesus Christ glorify Himself though me?”