“How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God?” (Jn 5:44)
Thus the Lord asks those who are rejecting Him, those who not believe in Him, how they could possibly believe, when they “do not seek the glory that comes from the only God,” but are focused rather on human “glory.” Christ’s question, “How can you believe, when…,” points to a blindness, a blindness caused by a focus on what is essentially and unavoidably delusional – merely-human opinion. He is not saying that human opinion is always “bad.” He is saying that a focus on it, to the exclusion of “seeking” God’s glory, makes faith impossible.
This passage reminds me today to re-focus, if I happen to slip into people-pleasing, into seeking the approval, justification, or praise of other people. I do this practically by default, if I cease consciously and actively to “seek the glory that comes from the only God.” Why is this whole business of “glory” so important, and so potentially-damaging? Because if I focus on a God-less kind of glory, which is unavoidably not-omniscient, and hence not “true,” then I strive to become someone or something “not true.” Only God can know me as I am, as His creation. Only His “approval,” His vision of what or who “is very good” (Gen 1:31), can grant me the grace of being the “very good” He created me to be, in humble self-acceptance, in His humility, in His loving grace.
Today let me let God liberate me from the brutal insecurities of seeking human “glory,” which blind me to true vision of God, myself, and others. “For Thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory,” I say to Him today. Let me be today the “very good” He sees in me, in Him.