I turn next to the idea of glory. There is no getting away from the fact that this idea is very prominent in the New Testament and in early Christian writings. Salvation is constantly associated with palms, crowns, white robes, thrones, and splendour like the sun and stars. All this makes no immediate appeal to me at all, and in that respect I fancy I am a typical modern. Glory suggests two ideas to me, of which one seems wicked and the other ridiculous. Either glory means to me fame, or it means luminosity. As for the first, since to be famous means to be better known than other people, the desire for fame appears to me as a competitive passion and therefore of hell rather than heaven. As for the second, who wishes to become a kind of living electric light bulb?
When I began to look into this matter I was shocked to find such different Christians as Milton, Johnson, and Thomas Aquinas taking heavenly glory quite frankly in the sense of fame or good report. But not fame conferred by our fellow creatures—fame with God, approval or (I might say) "appreciation" by God. And then, when I had thought it over, I saw that this view was scriptural; nothing can eliminate from the parable the divine accolade, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant." With that, a good deal of what I had been thinking all my life fell down like a house of cards.
—from "The Weight of Glory" (The Weight of Glory)
He that blesseth his friend with a loud voice rising early in the morning, it shall be counted a curse to him (27:14).
It was not always easy being a night owl. Staying up late was only a pleasure when she was allowed to sleep in late. Since they had moved to the new neighborhood she had met a few people, and they all arose around 6:00 a.m. That was fine if that's what they wanted to do. The problem was that they called her up after breakfast, which for them was 7:00. She knew that they were just trying to be friendly, but sometimes she wanted to scream at them. She had tried nicely to tell them that she liked sleeping in, but they still called by 8:00. She didn't know how long she would be able to tolerate their friendliness until it drove her completely crazy!
Consideration is an important Christian quality. If we love and respect other people, then we will want to know what is pleasing to them, and we will try to accommodate them. If we force ourselves on others, then we are being selfish. God doesn't want anyone to force their will on anyone else. Instead, He wants us to do for others everything in our power to make them comfortable and happy. To serve means to do what other people need and want. We do not get to set the rules, but we follow the rules of love set down by God.
PRAYER: Lord, I sometimes think I know what is desired of me, but I don't always ask. Help me to be sensitive to the needs of others, that I might serve them and bring them joy and comfort. Amen.