How We Bring Real Glory to God

The glory of God is man fully alive ~ St. Irenaeus

                The 1981 movie Chariots of Fire tells the true story of two British track athletes, one Jewish and one Christian, competing in the 1924 Olympics.  One of my favorite lines from this movie comes from the Christian athlete, Eric Liddell, when he is trying to explain to his sister why he has to run:  “I believe that God made me for a purpose. But He also made me fast, and when I run, I feel His pleasure”  (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vGc9pWan-FY&feature=related).

His sister was concerned that Eric was forsaking his true purpose, that of being a missionary, for running.  Her perception seemed to be that to please God, a person must be serving God as a pastor or as a missionary.  This limited view of what pleases God is more commonplace than we might think.  What if God was truly pleased just by you being you, and more importantly, by you enjoying what you love to do?

If the Father, Son, and Spirit created us for relationship, because they wanted to share their joys and their love with us, why would they restrict what pleases them to two occupations or to work done at a church?  That seems to leave a lot of us excluded.

Since Jesus Christ came to include us by taking on our humanity, it makes sense that the attributes and skills which make us happy also make the Triune God happy.  Someone might not consider running a spiritual calling, but Eric Liddell saw it as such.  Anything that you love to do, whatever you lose yourself in, that makes you happy, also brings glory to the Triune God who created you.  Whether it is music, art, farming, gardening, or cooking, whenever you feel intense joy during an activity, it is simply the pleasure of the Father, Son, and Spirit as they enjoy it with you.  As Eric Liddell said, “…when I run, I feel His pleasure.”

For me personally, I feel God’s pleasure when I teach.  The joy I feel when a student does well (whether it’s my own child or a college student) is the joy of the Father, Son, and Spirit as they take pleasure in me being the person they created me to be.  I recognize the Triune God’s presence with me as I am utilizing the skills and attributes that are a part of me.

As St. Irenaeus said, “The glory of God is man fully alive,” and it’s when we’re being our most authentic selves that we experience the fullness of living out our humanity as it was meant to be expressed.  We don’t have to be a pastor or do work at a church to bring glory to God.  Like Eric Liddell, whenever you are doing something where you feel His pleasure, you are living your humanity to its fullest and bringing glory to the Triune God.

           ~by Nan Kuhlman

10 comments so far

  1. Jane Hinrichs on

    Nan, Thanks for this. Great post! Very encouraging!

  2. Jerome Ellard on

    Very good! Life affirming. The opposite of dualism. Reminds me of the writings of Baxter Kruger.

    • Nan Kuhlman on

      Jerome,

      I am also a fan of Baxter Kruger’s lectures and writings, and I appreciate that you see a similarity of subject matter in the blog post. Thanks for commenting!

      Nan

  3. Len Joson on

    A very encouraging insight. Thanks!

    • Nan Kuhlman on

      Len,

      I’m glad to hear you were encouraged!
      Thanks,
      Nan

  4. Steve Sell on

    I really enjoyed reading this. Very encouraging!! I feel Gods presence when I am playing B-ball. Hope God lets me play a couple more years. Not getting any younger LOL!

    • Nan Kuhlman on

      Steve,

      Good to hear from you. I like hearing that you feel God’s presence when you play basketball. I believe that the Father, Son, and Spirit enjoy our “play,” whatever it is, just as much as those things we think of as our “work.” It reminds me of the joy I felt watching my children engrossed in play, especially when they were toddlers.

      Thanks for your comment,
      Nan

  5. Sheila Chilcote-Collins on

    AMEN, Nan!

    • Nan Kuhlman on

      Sheila,

      Glad you appreciated the post, although I’m sure it wasn’t a new concept for you!

      Hugs,
      Nan


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