Self-confessed glory-stealer that I am, how do I combat this desire? I focus on the gospel and all its implications. There are two portions to the gospel; one, what Jesus did for us and two, our new identity in Christ. We tend to focus on the first part because it is the most important, but we rarely remember the second part. Christ changed who we are when he died and rose again.
After God’s revelation of my glory-stealing heart, I asked him to show me what was at the root of my problem. He showed me how he created man with great significance. But man rejected his God-given significance. As a result, we vainly search for our worth in others.
Unfortunately, we use the wrong standard for judging someone else’s value or importance. We look at outward appearance, socioeconomic status, intelligence, talents, accomplishments, etc. Unknowingly, we base our significance on the wrong things. When we look to others for value, we put ourselves at the mercy of someone else’s opinion of us. We feel good about ourselves when we measure up and not so good when we fail. A roller coaster ride perfectly sums up our search for significance through others.
We ingrain ourselves in this pattern to seek confirmation from others to feel good about ourselves. However, once we place our faith in Christ, we become a new person with our true significance back in place. Therefore, we must change our way of thinking about our old self. Paul understood he had to forget about his old identity, “I once thought these things (all of who he was before Christ) were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ and become one with him…” (Philippians 3:7-9a NLT)
God opened my eyes: I was still operating from my old sense of Identity and seeking my significance from others. My desire for praise from others and thus stealing God’s glory was rooted in old lies. What lies? “Who God says I am isn’t true.” “Who God says I am isn’t enough; my old identity is preferable.” Even worse, “His opinion of me isn’t as important as man’s esteem of me.” Wow! The lies we believe consciously or unconsciously are so wicked. How dare I say to God his view of me isn’t good enough for me to feel significant!
Let’s commit to believing the truth of our new Identity in Christ. Let’s quit our glory-stealing ways and give all the glory to God. Remember, the judge of all the earth has declared us holy and blameless, an heir, a sweet aroma, a partner, a friend, a child of his, a masterpiece, and so much more. Great news! God’s never changes his view of us because of Jesus. Who we are in Christ is more than enough; we are very significant. Let’s live like it!