“How can you believe, who receive glory (δόξαν) from one another, and do not seek the glory (τὴν δόξαν) that comes from the only God?” (Jn 5: 44)
As Christ says to us, (and not only to the “bad guys” in the Gospels, the Jewish religious leaders, to whom He is speaking here), we cannot “believe” if our focus is on receiving a dubious “glory” from other, merely-human, beings, while not seeking “The” glory that comes from God. Why not? Because human “glory” is not the sort of thing in which we can really “believe.” In fact, it is rather the sort of thing we can fear, because of its unpredictable ups and downs. And if we slip into a dependency on merely-human approval/disapproval, we will find ourselves, in the long run, living more or less in a state of fear, which is the opposite of faith.
In our Internet Age, in which we’re exposed to the “likes,” “dislikes,” and comments under every news-story, and also under our own, personal posts on social media, we are constantly confronted with this double-edged sword of human “glory.” And this reality can easily lead us to live in fear, if we “do not seek the glory that comes from the only God,” even while we function and interact, as most of us must do, online.
But how do we go about “seeking” God’s glory? First and foremost, by giving glory to Him, in the praise-filled, daily prayers of Tradition; by saying, for example, “hallowed be Thy name,” as we do at the very beginning of the Prayer by which the Lord taught us to pray. By “giving” God “glory,” we share in it, because His glory comes back to us, in the communion that is accomplished through prayer and other sacramental actions of the Church. So let me re-focus on God’s glory today, as I replace fear with faith. Lord, glory be to You.