All Glory Be To Christ
Over the past several months I have experienced a growing conviction which I believe to be from the Lord. Perhaps you can relate to what I’ve been going through. Paul writes about this very thing in Galatians 1.
“I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ…”
Before you jump to any conclusions about where I’m at in my Christian faith, keep reading.
“…But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed. For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.”
What is this “other Gospel” that is taking hold in the church of Galatia? Well, my friends, it’s the same “other Gospel” that has, at times, been taking hold of me. It’s revealed in that last verse. It’s the Gospel of Self-Reliance.
“For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.”
Do you struggle with comparison? I do.
I compare myself to friends. I compare myself to classmates. I compare myself to coworkers. Gosh, you’d be hard-pressed to find someone that I have NOT compared myself to.
The outcome of comparison is two-fold. First, I think more highly of myself than I ought (Philippians 2:3). Second, I take on a self-serving, prove-it attitude (Philippians 4:6). These are both destructive for my soul and hostile to God. Instead of making much of His greatness, I seek my own glory.
As a Christian, I should already know this. But I forget the true Gospel, the Gospel of Grace. In it’s place I begin to build the appearance of greatness. I want to appear smarter, stronger, better-looking, more creative, more athletic, more successful, more wealthy, more independent, and the list goes on.
Can you see how I have bought into this notion of self-reliance?
Paul makes his case very clear in Galatians 1:10: “If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.” Oh how foolish I have been for trying to build my own kingdom. Oh how foolish I have been to seek my own fame and success by building an appearance of greatness. I’m slowly learning that comparison does not serve me well.
Today and every day I must conclude with Paul, when he writes in Philippians 3:7-8, “But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ.”
I’m looking back on this past year, hoping and praying that God would use it for His glory. I invite you to pray the same for your year. And as we look forward to another year to come, my prayer, my anthem, my song is this:
All glory be to Christ our King
All glory be to Christ
His rule and reign we’ll ever sing
All glory be to Christ