“For God, who said, 'Let light shine out of darkness,' has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”
// 2 Corinthians 4:6
Every morning, most of us do the same thing (no, not showering, although I hope that is the case): we look at ourselves in the mirror. It has become a part of our daily routine.
The interesting thing about mirrors is that the image being reflected seems real. Although the image is crisp and clear, it is just a representation of the true object – in the same way the gnosis, or wisdom and knowledge, that we have received from the Holy Spirit is but a representation or reflection of the true glory that comes from God alone, which He has called us to carry to the world.
We read in the passage above that Paul is urging the Christians of Corinth not to shine their own light and wisdom into the world, but instead be a reflection of the true wisdom that only comes from the Lord of Lords. We often pressure ourselves into believing that we must create our own glory in the world. Paul calls us to let go of this weight and press into the wisdom and knowledge that Christ makes available to us.
In our world, glory is measured by fame, authority, and prestige, whether that’s derived from the best-designed graphic, most profitable company, or largest church in the city. This is our created glory. Glory in the context of God is that His love, grace, mercy, and justice are known in the world.
So how do we transition from prioritizing our glory to making His glory known in the world?
We all have the opportunity to reflect the image of God in our spheres of influence. But first and foremost, we need to understand His glory for ourselves before we can reflect it well, by looking at the life of Jesus – the perfect reflection of a Holy God. Because of Jesus’ death, we now can represent God as He did. We can read scripture, with the help of the Holy Spirit, to gain wisdom for the situations that we face and shine the light that has been shown to us.
// Tim Stratton