"Those who speak on their own seek their own glory; but the one who seeks the glory of him who sent him is true, and there is nothing false in him."
If you believe the adage, "there's no such thing as bad publicity," then Jesus is the talk of the town in John, chapter 7. It's the Festival of Booths, and hoards of people have gathered at the Temple in Jerusalem for a week of celebration. Everyone is talking about Jesus (see v.10-13)... and when he makes a surprise appearance and starts teaching, a big debate ensues. "Who does this guy think he is?" they ask. "He doesn't even have any teaching credentials!" (v.15). Jesus assures them it's not his words/ideas/insights he's sharing, but God's - the One who sent him.
Verse 18 really hit me today. Jesus said when people seek their own glory, it's one thing. But it's another thing altogether for one to seek GOD'S GLORY ("the one who sent him"). We all love a little bit of glory. Most of us don't experience it that often, but who doesn't enjoy the praise & accolades of others?!? But Jesus reminds us (especially those of us who are Christian leaders!) that it's not about us and our status in the eyes of others at all... it's about making God famous... giving God the glory! Easy to say, I know... a lot harder to do (at least to do it with humility & sincerity).
To give God glory means to speak the truth in love, because it's the truth, not because of how it will make you look. To give God glory means to acknowledge that all we have comes from him, not by our own striving. To give God glory means to recognize the grace, love & forgiveness that God has showered upon us... and to extend that same to others. All others.
I know... I know... we've all got a long way to go! AMEN.