“Thus says the Lord: ‘Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, let not the mighty man glory in his might, nor let the rich man glory in his riches; but let him who glories glory in this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord, exercising lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth. For in these I delight,’ says the Lord” (Jeremiah 9:23,24).
MOST OF US FEEL A NEED TO HAVE SOMETHING ABOUT OURSELVES THAT WE FIND DEEPLY SATISFYING. There needs to be something that we can take “pride” in, something about us that is honorable and praiseworthy, at least by our own standards. Those who don’t have any such source of satisfaction are said to have a low sense of “self-worth” or an unhealthy “self-image.” Whatever words are used to describe this human need (and the terminology varies greatly from culture to culture), almost every person in the world knows what it is to strive for this fulfillment. We need to have something significant that we can “glory” in.
The problem is that we were created by a God who fashioned us in His own image and made us such that our greatest need is for Him personally. When we ignore the truth that this is our greatest need and try to find our significance and satisfaction in other things, we engage in a pursuit that is dangerous and destructive. Surrounded by so many things that seem to be likely sources of fulfillment, we are constantly tempted to “achieve” in these areas and then use our achievement as the foundation for our self-esteem. We look long and hard for something that we can be good at, and when we have found it, we make that our “glory.”
But the God who gave each of us our gifts has said, “Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, let not the mighty man glory in his might, nor let the rich man glory in his riches; but let him who glories glory in this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord.” Whatever our achievements and our accolades may be, these are never the most important things about us. What matters is whether we know God. And if we do not know Him, then there is much about the subject of “glory” that yet awaits our discovery. When we make it, this discovery will perhaps amaze us: that all is well when we simply let ourselves be whatever we are — in God.
“Our great honor lies in being just what Jesus was and is. To be accepted by those who accept him, rejected by all who reject him, loved by those who love him and hated by everyone who hates him. What greater glory could come to any man?” (A. W. Tozer).