What's the last thing you did for God? When something went well, did you take the credit right away or did you thank God? Often, I am guilty of not showing God the glory in all that I do. "I went on all those trips. Someone tell me thank you for taking your child for a week! Especially that one kid who was a handful." How horrible of me to think yet I caught myself thinking that more than once this summer. Where was my heart!?
It's easy to want to be thanked and applauded for giving up a summer, but I didn't really give up my summer did I? I got to practically vacation to three different, wonderful places. I should be praising God for allowing me to have a job that lets me travel so much. I should be praising God for the students that came on the trip because hearts were changed and definitely not by me. I should be praising God that he would even think to use someone like me to help guide his children.
Just this past Sunday, Mitch (the youth pastor at CCG) gave a sermon on making sure that our reason for doing what we do is not to bring ourselves glory, but to bring God glory. Mitch gave a great example: Francis Chan, who wrote the book CrazyLove, told of how at first, writing the book was for God and only for God, but then it started selling, and selling incredibly well. Chan lost sight of what the book was really for--God's glory--and began seeing it as a success for himself. He started wanting more and more books to be sold so he would get credit. He started hoping his twitter followers would increase. He started needing people to like his posts and share them. He desired more and more. At some point in this, he realized he was doing it all for himself and not for God. The start was great, but somewhere along the way, he lost sight of what it was really all about.
I hate to say it, but that's how my summer has been. I started out doing it because I wanted to see God get the glory for everything in my life because I am nothing without him, but somewhere along the way, I started thinking of it as just my job. I needed and wanted people to acknowledge how great it was of me to be doing all of this. Through this summer though, I began to realize that I don't need praise. I don't need people to care. I don't need people to understand. I have God, and for me, that's more than enough. And it always should be!
I hope and pray that my heart and my desire for God to be glorified in everything stays the same, but I know I'll fade in and out of this. I'll start to need praise again. I'll start to care how many people like my photo on Facebook. I'll start to need people's approval. I hope that when that day comes, I'll be reminded of how great our God is and that all glory is His (Luke 2:14).
Wouldn't it be crazy if we all did everything for the glory of God? Wouldn't it be crazy if we stopped caring what everyone else thought and only cared what God thought? Wouldn't it be crazy if we did what we know we are commanded to do by God even though we may lose friends? Even though people may not like us? It would be. It would be crazy, but it would be worth it. I say, let's pray that this is our heart! Let's seek out God and show the world what God's love really looks like! Oh, let's show them who God is!
Tell me, where is your heart? Are you ready to be so consumed by God that it overflows into your life? Are you ready to give God all the glory even if that means you never get praise? In this world, it's hard. Facebook. Instagram. Twitter. They all fill us with the need to be liked and more liked. We stand out as children of God when that stuff doesn't matter to us. We stand out when we give God the glory because we know we can't do it on our own. So, my final question is this: who gets the glory in your life?
P.S. Yes, my tattoo on my shoulder is in reference to Francis Chan's book CrazyLove. For those of you who have been curious, now you know ;)