PASTOR’S CORNER, David Harris, Fellowship Baptist Church, Liberal

 

What does it look like to attain glory? When you think about that word, how do you dress it up? What comes to mind? If like me you grew up watching action movies, you might think of William Wallace swinging his massive sword to defend his freedom, or in a slightly more fictional vein, Rocky Balboa going up against Apollo Creed in the ring. If you love to watch sports you might associate glory with Michael Phelps, layers of Olympic gold hanging around his neck, or Michael Jordan holding the NBA championship trophy. If you value notoriety the peak of glory may be getting an obituary in the New York Times.

If civic service is your passion then perhaps the Presidential Medal of Freedom being given to a worthy person is what comes to mind.

But if you are a Christian, then let me give you something to think about: if God had his own definition of what glory looks like in the life of his people, wouldn't you want to know it? Wouldn't you want to embrace it and even aspire to it for yourself? I mean, would there be anything else worth chasing as much as that kind of life?

Solomon, writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, gives us some insight into how the Lord defines a life of true glory. In Proverbs 19:11 the wise king writes,

“A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense.” (Proverbs 19:11, NIV)

When Christians around you overlook offenses, your first instinct may be critical. You may think they are weak, that they don't care about justice, that they don't have the sufficient guts to keep a good grudge (like you do). To you, overlooking offenses may be the cowardly way out of standing up for yourself: backing down to the demands of life.

But God sees one of his people overlook an offense, and we have it on good authority that he thinks "Now that is glorious." It turns out that God may look at things differently than we do. Of course this should never surprise us - if God is how the Bible describes him anyway. If the God I worship never disagrees with me, never has any ideas that run contrary to mine, and never surprises me with his assessments, and yet I think of this God as infinite in his knowledge, goodness and wisdom something is dreadfully wrong. God’s thoughts are different than mine. And whenever I discover that I need to submit to what he thinks. God thinks overlooking offenses makes a person’s life glorious. That’s the truth.

What offenses is the Holy Spirit calling you to overlook right now? What enemies do you need to pray for? What bitterness do you need to release? What grudge do you need to end, right now? May God help us pursue true glory by overlooking offenses.

Live a life of glory. Forgive.

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