But you, O LORD, are a shield around me; you are my glory, the one who holds my head high.
What is your glory? What is it that you value most in life? What is the thing about you that people are most likely to praise? Again I ask: What is your glory? Or, in light of Psalm 3:3, it might be better to ask: Who is your glory?
In Psalm 3:3, David acknowledges that God is his protector ("a shield around me") and the one who gives him confidence ("the one who holds my head high"). Between these two affirmations, the Hebrew original reads simply, "My glory" (kevodi). This phrase could mean that David seeks God's glory more than anything else. Or it could mean that David understands his personal glory to be a gift from God. In a sense, both are true, of course. As David seeks to glorify God above all, not only is God honored, but also God lifts up David and honors him.
If we glorify God, he will glorify us. Yet, we must be careful not to turn this truth into some kind of self-centered formula that limits God's sovereignty. Many Christians have lived for God's glory and have received pain, scorn, and even martyrdom in this life. Their glory lies beyond the grave. So, we live for God's glory, not primarily because of what we will receive, but because God deserves it.
Living for God's glory doesn't mean that we have to start filling our mouths with religious language. Rather, we make God our glory by seeking to honor him in all that we do. If God is my glory, then I will offer all that I am to him all of the time. I will seek to be faithful so that people might catch a glimpse of God through the window of my life. I will be happiest, not when people say I am great, but when they say God is great.
So, what is your glory? Who is your glory?
QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER REFLECTION: What are the things that truly motivate you each day? What helps you to live for God's glory? What hinders you? How might your life be different if you were to seek God's glory above all today?
PRAYER: Glorious and gracious God, I wish I could say without hesitation that you are my glory. Yes, I do live for your glory at times. But, there are also times when I seek my glory most of all. Forgive me for getting my "glories" mixed up. Help me, by your Spirit, to live my life for you and your glory. May I be a channel of your grace and a reflection of your truthful love in my part of the world. Amen.