Thursday, April 12, 2012

Glorifying God

Peck, peck, peck. I always hear them before I see them.

Several varieties of woodpeckers inhabit our region. Their hammering on trees, light poles, church steeples and gutters is unmistakable. Clinging to the side of trees with arthritic shaped claws, they do what would give the average person a migraine.

When watching them I think, “Surely there must be an easier way to survive.” But this is the woodpecker’s manner of attracting mates, establishing territory, forging roosting sites and searching for insects to fill his belly.

The woodpecker’s antics appear strange, but he is actually doing what God designed. And this is everyone’s mandate: So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. (I Corinthians 10:31)

Glorify is an uncommon word. If I want to glorify myself, what is involved? Perhaps me on stage with spotlights will explain. Suppose I’m in a Shakespearean play performing a soliloquy. When I speak, those in charge of lighting focus one spotlight on me while turning all others off. I am glorified. 

Doing things unselfishly is challenging. I often seek glory. You know the spotlight. Most of us do even when secretly professing we don’t want recognition. It’s the nature of our nature.

I give a generous donation to a charitable organization, telling them I want to remain anonymous, so they thank me and set out using my money. Two months later I’m stewing because I didn’t receive a thank you note, certificate or plaque on the organization’s wall announcing my donation.

Woodpeckers glorify God by hammering their heads on things that make mine ache. I glorify God when I love him supremely, my neighbor generously, and when I serve both unselfishly. Jesus says our lights shine brightest when doing good deeds for others. Pecking out our actions thoughtfully puts God in the spotlight. And this displays his power to change selfish inclinations into selfless actions.

What attitudes are worth investigating so you can spotlight God by your actions?

Prayer: Merciful Lord, guide us to spotlight You and our actions to be unselfish.

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