Ambition#8. “Glory for me.”

Ambition#8. “Glory for me.”

What will a man give for the approval of others? Judging by the extremes that some go to—a lot!

Israel’s leaders saw no advantage in listening to the likes of Jesus. He had no standing with the Jewish Council (The Sanhedrin), and his appeal among the “tax collectors and sinners” brought his integrity into question in their minds.

When Jesus’ popularity grew to the point where the Jewish leaders could no longer ignore him, they came out to confront him face to face. But Jesus stood fast against them. He knew long before Pilate that his enemies opposed him out of envy, and he was not going to give them ground.

So, Jesus exposes the reason for their refusal to believe in him:
“How can you believe since you accept glory from one another but do not seek the glory that comes from the only God?” (John 5:44).

In like manner, those refusing to give up the approval of their friends, say, “No!” to the Gospel.

The admiration of men is a powerful incentive to conform to worldliness. But its not only unbelievers who buckle to the pressures of praise. James calls those who vacillate spiritual “adulteresses.” And asks, “Do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God” (James 4:4).

It takes great resolve to fend off the flattery and fawning of those who discourage faith in Christ. As empty as their words may be, their motives for evil are genuine. Sceptics will go a long way to convince a potential believer that the way of Jesus is reserved for the unambitious; those incapable of self-reliance.

But for those who glory in man, Paul says:
“For it is not he who commends himself that is approved, but he whom the Lord commends” (2 Corinthians 10:18).

John Staiger


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