by Ron Cook
“Glory is the unspoken, unbiased inner worth that demands the respect of others, as well as the respect for others.” (Anonymous)
King David wrote the 19th Psalm which simply starts, “The heavens proclaim the glory of God, and the sky displays the work of His hands.” David was a king, a musician, a poet, and a great man in history. He slayed a giant. He lead great armies. He had great glory by definition. He also failed in his life at times. Yet, what gave him glory was that he constantly humbled himself, repented, and vowed to do better.
I think, if we are honest with ourselves, we can admit that we all would like to have honor. We would all like to be respected. We all would like to have glory. But we are not all kings, great leaders, gifted musicians, poets, or incredible athletes. How can we achieve glory?
I believe each of us can, in fact, obtain glory. Perhaps the way might be to start with the focused practice of humility. King David failed with his treatment of Bathsheba’s husband. That was wrong, yet he repented and felt remorse. When he went into battle with Goliath, he shed the heavy, clumsy, protective armor that King Saul had provided him. He faced the giant with just his humble Shepherd’s clothing, and his sling. He battled Goliath as he had battled lions, and other
predators of his flock of sheep.
If we are humbly walking in the truth of our lives, we can achieve honor and glory. It is said, by wiser men than I, that the way up is down. Better to be called up to a place of honor, than to be asked to step down for someone else more worthy. How much do we respect ourselves? How is our behavior when no one is looking? How true and trustworthy is our word? How well do we listen to the words of others?
My father was a humble quiet man. When he spoke, people listened. He died young at 62, but left a legacy of great honor, and may I say, glory. He always tried to do the next right thing. His humble funeral was perhaps the largest our small Michigan farming town had ever witnessed. That is glory. He was a man of great inner worth. He respected others, and they respected him.
We all can choose honor and glory…but it has nothing to do with boasting. We live glory by living our simple lives to the best of our ability … caring for our families … and listening to those around us.
Psalm 19 says it best…
The heavens declare the glory of God;
The skies proclaim the work of His hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech,
Night after night they reveal knowledge.
Yet they have no speech; and they use no words,
No sound is heard from them.
Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,
Their words to the ends of the world …
I doubt we will ever know the kind of glory that creation reflects, yet I have heard no boasting of that achievement. The examples of greatness are all around us. Stop and notice them today. Do something good for someone else without them knowing you did it. Do the next right thing. The great value of inner worth cannot be measured with rewards. Let your life be that reward for others. Perhaps that will bring us glory from a life well lived.