Glory by Default
“And they glorified God because of me.”
When God transforms a person’s life, it always leads people to realize His glory. In cases of true transformation at the work of His Holy Spirit, the power of God will be what is most noticed, not the power or personal glory of the individual whose life was changed.
There is a natural tendency in all of us to replace the word “God” with the word “me” when we read the verse above from Galatians 1:24. But there is incredible power in a life that shuns the pursuit of self and surrenders everything for the pursuit of God.
Sports is a natural breeding ground for pride. By simply possessing and using their God-given athletic ability, athletes receive lots of attention and praise. It brings glory by default, and it happens whether they want it or not. This is why there is such a burst of light in the darkness when an athlete or coach takes that glory and lays it at the feet of Jesus Christ. It is the deflection of praise instead of the acceptance of it that causes the world to take notice that there is something different. Glory to God is always most powerful when glory to self is defeated.
In November 2010, a young 12-year-old athlete known for his big smile quietly and humbly made a decision to accept Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. His name was Justin Bloxom, and he was attending a Fields of Faith event being held at his local high school’s football stadium in Louisiana. Just four months after his decision, Justin stepped into eternity when he was murdered by a noted criminal.
Unquestionably, Justin had made the most important decision of his life at the stadium that November night, and since his tragic death countless people have been impacted for eternity. Justin’s simple act of faith has caused many to accept Christ, and many others to pursue a bolder, more urgent life for God. His life and his death are making a difference for the Kingdom! It is glory by default.
Just as it can be said of Justin, “And they glorified God because of me,” may it be said of every one of us today.
1. As an athlete or coach, how connected are you to the natural tendency in all of us to relish the glory we receive from performance, stats and wins? Ask God to help you seek His glory instead of yours.
2. Do you think others glorify God when you succeed, or do they glorify you? How do your actions contribute to that result?
3. The presence of pride in our hearts is often hard to detect. Why is it so hard to notice?
4. None of us is guaranteed tomorrow. How can you bring glory to God today?