You have probably heard by now that Tiger Woods won the Masters on Sunday, his first major championship in 11 years. Like many, I was happy to see Tiger back on top. From 1997-2008, Tiger dominated the sport of golf and won 14 majors. But in the 11 years since then (and in the prime of his career), Tiger won 0. No wonder Sunday’s win was big news in the sporting world.
Growing up I was a avid sports fan.
I loved to play sports and I equally loved to watch sports whenever I got the chance. Like many, the thing I loved most was watching those moments when a champion was crowned. I watched the World Series, the Stanley Cup finals, the NBA finals, the Super Bowl, the Grey Cup, the Golf Major championships (seeing Tiger win many times), and much more.
Since then my love for sports has gradually faded and been replaced with other loves: namely, my wife, my kids, and most importantly, my Lord. I still enjoy watching and playing sports occasionally, but I am not the fanatic I once was.
As I look back on my younger days and my obsession with sports, I think a lot of it had to do with one word—glory. Seeing someone win a championship in front of thousands of people, with millions of people watching on TV, was for me the epitome of glory.
And even though I was not the one winning the championship, somehow in watching it and beholding it, I was sharing in the glory. I loved that, I craved that, and it was part of what made sports such a big idol for me growing up.
There is something in all of us that makes us seek after glory. We are “glory hunters” and go after it in different ways based on our own personalities and interests. People can seek after glory in a hundred different ways. But one of the distinctive marks of a Christian is that they are no longer consumed with their own glory, but the glory of Another – the glory of God.
In a massive indictment upon the Scribes and Pharisees, Jesus told them in John 5:44, “How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God?” Later in John’s Gospel, we are told that these same religious leaders “loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God” (John 12:43).
Ask yourself: where am I seeking glory? Am I seeking to bring glory to the Creator God through my life? Am I awed and amazing and caught up in the glory of Christ?
As I ask these questions of myself, I am forced to admit that all too often I still seek after my own glory and not that of my Lord. I praise God that sports are not the idol they once were in my life, but I still have a lot of other idols that hinder me from seeking the glory of God.
The good news is that as we behold the glory of the Lord, we are being changed and sanctified little by little. The apostle Paul said, “And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit” (2 Corinthians 3:18). In a word, “beholding is becoming.”
Glory from man or glory from God? We all know which is the right answer and which is the wrong one. But what is the genuine desire of your heart? What is the true reality of your life?
Let’s give heed to the Apostle’s words: “To the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen” (1 Tim. 1:17).