Secondhand Glory


Not to us, Lord, not to us, but to Your name give glory because of Your faithful love, because of Your truth.–Psalm 115:1


Growing up with two older brothers meant I never got anything new. I was always dished secondhand items:clothes, sporting equipment, and toys. My big day came when I was eight years old and my dad bought me a new lacrosse stick. It was a glorious moment. The lacrosse stick glowed from newness. That experience marked me as a young athlete. It passed through my hands first—not second, third, or fourth!

God does not want our secondhand glory. Secondhand glory is taking credit when God should be getting the credit first. It is subtle. As athletes, it is easy to take credit because we are always getting it from teammates, coaches, and fans.

God rejects secondhand glory. Throughout the Bible we see that God only accepts firsthand glory. Cain found out the hard way that God wants the best, not the leftovers. It goes beyond who should get the credit. Credit is done with the mouth. Glory is done with the heart. Glory is about honoring our Master with our best and worshiping Him with a pure heart. When we get it right and honor Him first, God will honor us. 1 Samuel 2:30b states, “I will honor those who honor Me, but those who despise Me will be disgraced.”

As athletes, our goal is to give God firsthand glory. As it states in the Competitor’s Creed, “Let the competition begin. Let the glory be God’s.”


1. When do you find yourself giving God secondhand glory?
2. What other examples in the Bible besides Cain does God reject secondhand glory?
3. When competing, why is it easy to take the glory?
4. In what ways can you remind yourself to give God the glory first?


Extra Reading: Genesis 4:1-7; Psalms 96:7-8


Jesus, help me not to give You secondhand glory. As a Holy God, You deserve first. When I compete, teach me how to give You the glory all the time. Amen.