Tuesday, February 2, 2016

John 5: The Vice of Vainglory

John 5:44 

Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC)

44 How is it possible for you to believe [how can you learn to believe], you who [are content to seek and] receive praise and honor and glory from one another, and yet do not seek the praise and honor and glory which come from Him Who alone is God?

Vainglory, it's not a word we think about much nowadays. Yet, we should think about the implications of becoming entangled in it, because it is a sin that entices even the most sincere Christian.

The definition of vainglory listed in my copy of the Webster's New Twentieth Century Dictionary of the English Language states that it is "Glory, pride, or boastfulness that is vain; vanity excited by one's own performances; empty pride; undue elation of mind" (original copyright 1904 and printed in 1965).

None of us can boast about our accomplishments, because any good we have done is because of Him!  He bestows gifts and talents.  He empowers us to be successful.

It's up to us to utilize those gifts and talents for His glory and not our own.  

Have you ever been in situations where everyone is attempting to one-up the others?  When we act like that, it's like we are saying to God, "I don't need You.  I can do it all by myself."  That thought process is not only childish, but arrogant.

Personally, I have asked the Holy Spirit to convict me of any vainglorious attitude.  I am well aware I need God's power to be successful in all that I am and do.  Yet the temptation remains for me, for all of us.

The verse above asks an important and eternal question.  How can we believe when we focus on seeking and receiving praise and glory for ourselves, when God is the One Who is responsible for the blessing of success?  

The moment a person thinks they are free from pride (vainglory), is the moment this insidious vice has rooted in their soul.

It's a sobering and humbling thought, isn't it?

Holy Spirit, please reveal any vainglory in our lives.  Open our eyes to see Your power flow through us which yields success.  All honor and power and GLORY be to the One called Jesus.  AMEN!!!

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