Life is a war for glory. Even those of us who have rested in Jesus to bring an end to our battle for glory still fight skirmishes in which we feel our reputations are at risk. We live on a battlefield where we strive to attain glory and put it on display. We measure ourselves against others to see how we are stacking up. Are we advancing in our careers fast enough? Is our romantic life lagging behind? Are our finances lagging behind? Are our gifted and talented children in all the right activities? Are we spiritual standouts? We become slaves to our image and the glory that comes from being extraordinary. With every victory the glory counter goes up, and with every failure and folly the glory counter is reset, and we strive to recapture that lost glory.
The gospel has the power to liberate us from that because Jesus won ultimate glory for us. In him we are given the unchanging status of justified and adopted children of God. We are fully known and fully loved. God’s image is being restored in us, and we will one day “shine like the sun” (Matt. 13:43). What people say about us, what we say about ourselves, and what people do to us is trumped by what God has said about us and done for us in the gospel. But the skirmishes rage on, and we still fight for the glory that comes from men.