Should I seek glory and honor for myself?
“Of course not,” you might say. “That would be prideful and selfish. You shouldn’t seek to exalt yourself. The only person who deserves glory and honor is God.”
Yes and no.
Paul condemns a “self-seeking” nature in Romans 2:8.
. . . but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury.
Paul encourages a “self-seeking” nature in the previous verse.
To those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. Rom 2:7
Paul presents two options.
Option #1: Be self-seeking.
Do not obey the truth. Obey your own rules. Follow your own sinful heart. Live according to your own pleasures. Concern yourself with what you want, not what God wants.
Obey unrighteousness. Disobey righteousness. Allow unrighteousness to guide and direct your path. Enjoy every moment of the freedom it brings. No rules. No authorities. Only your way.
Result: Wrath and fury. Tribulation and distress.
Option #2: Be self-seeking.
Be patient in well-doing. Simply do good, and wait for the reward. Live according to his pleasure, knowing that a blessing will follow. Concern yourself with what God wants. God wants to give you an abundance of good things.
Result: Glory and honor. Eternal life. Peace.
You want these good things for yourself? Do good, and wait for them, because they will come.
When your patience runs dry, and you are tempted to conduct your own search for good things, don’t. Because, if you do, those things which hold such a strong appearance of goodness will come. And you will discover how far from “good” they really are. Then, when you have wasted your life away seeking good of your own making, you will wish you had learned the art of self-seeking.
The good you really seek is the good God seeks to give you.
And that’s where God’s glory comes in. Oh how are Father delights to give us good things.
He will render to each one according to his works: to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury.
There will be tribulation and distress for every human being who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek, but glory and honor and peace for everyone who does good, the Jew first and also the Greek. For God shows no partiality.
[image credit: flickr.com, journeyoftheword.com]