John 5:41-44 " I do not accept glory from human beings but I know you. I know that you do not have the love of GOD in your hearts. I have come in my father's name and you do not accept me; but if someone else comes in his own name, you will accept him. How can you believe since you accept glory from one another but do not seek the glory that comes from the only GOD".
The context for this verse is Jesus speaking to the Pharisees who have been criticizing Jesus for healing on the sabbath and calling himself the son of GOD.
Jesus doesn't accept glory from the leaders or heads of society because they do not possess the love of GOD. Jesus knew from whom HE came and for what purpose HE was sent. If HE simply came to be a great teacher then HE would've sought the praise or adoration of these men. HE came for more.
These leaders couldn't accept that Jesus came in GOD's name but, instead would celebrate those who preached or taught in their own name. They accepted self-glory and self-promotion because it was social currency that they could dole out from person to person. They were in control of what was "in" and acceptable. The Pharisees were so caught up in giving glory and self-glorifying that they lost the pursuit of seeking GOD's glory. Even as learned religious men they had lost the scent of the trail.
In the moment, words of praise can fill our minds with a sense of accomplishment and uplift our egos. But what is the true intention behind human praise? Is it really to build us up? Or is it about self-promotion? When the Pharisees praised someone they were congratulating them for falling into the same legalistic spiritualism that Jesus had come to set them free from. Jesus saw beyond their superficiality. Jesus knew that, just like each one of us, HE was created to glorify GOD and to be a vessel for GOD's glory. There was no room to be filled with empty human words. So that's the challenge set before us - to be so filled with GOD that we cannot be influenced by those around us. We are given the opportunity to be defined by an everlasting truth that stands the test of time - so let's gladly take it.
P.S The concept of allowing GOD to define self-worth is a message that should be taught to children from a young age. A great book which can help start that conversation is "You Are Special" by Max Lucado.
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