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Pointers along the way #4

Whose honour do you want?
- Jacob Ninan

Jesus once pointed out a poor widow who had given two copper coins as an offering to God. In His view, this was more than what everyone else there had given because this was all the money she had (Mk.12:42,43). No one there would have recognised the worth of what she had done, nor given her this honour that she deserved. On the other hand, some rich man who made a great show of his wealth would have been admired by the crowd.

Are we content to be faithful before God's eyes in secret, knowing that we have done it for Him? This is what Jesus said we should seek to do, giving us examples of giving for charity, praying and fasting in secret (Mt.6). He said that the Father would be observing all such secret offerings to God and rewarding such people openly. He rewards them by giving them spiritual wealth, and not so much by giving them honour before people. Will we be content to do things for the Lord without caring for honour from people?

Ps.115:1 expresses the conviction of the writer that glory should go to God and not to us. When a painter brings out a masterpiece, the glory does not go to his paintbrush, canvas, easel or paint. We are only created beings given the privilege of being used by the Creator. What we deserve is shame and misery and finally hell for the all the sins we have done.

But we all have this craving for glory before people. We would like to have the centre stage at all times and we would like people to admire us, appreciate what we have done, talk highly about us, etc. We feel hurt when we are neglected, sidelined, ignored or insulted. We have to 'die' to these cravings if we are to seek the honour that comes from God (Jn.5:44).