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Rise of the Glory Junkies

It really is the struggle of struggles. It’s what we were made for, it’s what we crave and it’s what we manage to mess up in some way almost every day.

What’s the struggle? The struggle for glory.

I’ve said many times that I believe the most important words in the Bible are the first four—“In the beginning, God…”—because these four thunderously important words will radically alter the way we view ourselves and our world.

According to Genesis 1, everything that we experience was made by God and for God. All the little and good glories of the created world were designed to point to his magnificent, unending glory. The universe and all its inhabitants were designed to function in accordance with his glorious purpose and plan. That includes you and me.

We were not made to pursue, or bask in, our own glory. No, we were created to live for the glory of God. But because of sin, we forget (or ignore) the Creator and choose instead to pursue the temporary and trivial glories of creation. This pursuit sidetracks our purity and kidnaps our imagination, and in the end, it’s what makes our lives messy and our relationships conflictual.

We’re Addicted to Glory

Maybe another way to phrase our struggle is like this: Human beings are glory junkies. Whether you like to admit to it or not, you’re addicted to glory. In a way, this can be a very healthy thing, because you’re actually designed to crave glory, as long as it’s related to the things of God. So yes, you should be “addicted”—you should wake up and have a strong desire for Christ each morning, and you should experience a buzz when the Holy Spirit is moving in your life and in the lives of those you love and care for.

At the same time, however, you can’t be so naive to think that you have overcome your addiction to self-glory. You see, glory addicts aren’t just found in Hollywood, Nashville or in professional sports. Glory addicts exist in the bedrooms, kitchens and offices of everyday life.

I love how the Apostle Paul captures this idea in 1 Corinthians 10:31: “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” When Paul thinks about giving glory to God, he isn’t thinking about the speech we make after accepting an Academy Award or scoring a game-winning touchdown in front of millions of viewers. No, he thinks of the utterly mundane, when very few people are watching. And that’s where 99 percent of us live every day.