I’ve had a bit of an “A-ha!” moment lately – I don’t want to be someone who tries to take the Lord’s glory for myself.
This seems obvious. Of course, as a believer, I shouldn’t be a glory thief – but y’all, it’s a slippery slope. This past week I had the chance to attend two events within the “Christian world” and was honestly blown away by how different they were.
In one, I saw an attempt to lift up women and encourage them to use the giftings the Lord has bestowed upon them, but his Word wasn’t mentioned nearly at all. They had such sweet intentions, but the Lord felt like something that was put on the backburner – an afterthought – not the main focus. There were moments that felt bizarre: time spent celebrating one another without acknowledging that the real reason to celebrate was God, spiritual aerobics that bordered on prosperity messages (but were very joyfully motivating), and music that was a compilation of pop hits rather than a time to worship and reflect on the purpose for being there. Each speaker gave a beautiful, inspiring message but they forgot to support themselves with the Word – the greatest backing one could ever have! I left this event feeling baffled and discouraged; how could they have gone two days without mentioning scripture more than I could count on one hand? The messages I carried away were more about the sponsors of the event than of the Lord himself.
The other event I had the honor of attending was one of the most beautiful, God-glorifying events I have ever witnessed. The women hosting this event were so humble and quick to put the focus where it belonged. They had no desire to be recognized or praised for their stories or their talents – they wanted God to have it all and for HIM to be the main focus. I was brought to tears by the beauty of it: the moments of worship, the reminder that God is constant, the scripture references that both supported and encouraged. All of this made me desire to know the Lord more – to seek Him out and spend time with Him daily so that I might be able to quote His very words to others and have them feel this same encouragement and inspiration.
At the second event I attended, one of the women quoted 2 Timothy 4:3-4 –
For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, 4 and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.
She was speaking of what she referred to as the “truth-adjacent” – something we hold alongside truth as if it were truth itself, but in reality this something should never be held so highly. In scripture this is referred to as the teaching that soothes our “itching ears” and suits our personal passions. This truth-adjacent is dangerous – it is what we want to hear instead of the solid Word of God. It is our preference and our feeling and us re-writing God’s words, as if we would have made better authors.
I don’t even think that this truth-adjacent is always intentional. It could be like the first event I attended – something beautifully designed and intended to reach women with truth and love, but weighing a little heavier on the love and inspiration than on the truth. I fully believe that none of them intended to mask the Lord’s truth but, in an effort to incite inspiration and to create a sense of hope, that truth was lost.
What if God’s word was our passion instead?
Instead of this desire to “fulfill all He has destined us to be”, what if we just read His word and allowed that to transform us and decide who we are? I think it might solve our glory-thief problem. I have a feeling that if we continuously approach the Lord and take Him at His Word daily, that He will do far more for us than we could have dreamed. And, in doing so, the Lord will glorify himself. He does that, you know.