The following is an excerpt from my latest book "Sex and Money." To learn more or to order your copy, visit www.paultripp.com/sex-and-money.
The past two weeks we looked at the insanity of our culture and the addictive powers of Sex and Money. Today I want to wrap up this series by talking about a third word: GLORY.
As I have written before, human beings are hardwired for glory. That’s why we’re so attracted to glorious things. We love the glory of a great painting or a beautiful piece of music. We love the excitement of an athletic contest or a feat of daring. We love the sleight of hand of a great magician or the sizzle of a well-seared steak. We love the glory of a moment of success or the recognition of the people around us. We’re attracted to the glory of wealth or the beauty of the human body. We’re very powerfully oriented to glory, and because we are, we live in pursuit of it.
Animals are not like this. Rhinos don’t celebrate the size of their horns. Deer don’t gather for the bi-annual long-jump contest. Birds don’t envy one another’s feathers. Animals don’t have this glory orientation, because they weren’t made for God in the way that we are. Human beings are hardwired for glory because they were hardwired for God. The glory orientation that’s inside of every person is meant to drive us to God.
Here’s the problem. When God created the world, he dyed it with his glory. The created world really is glorious because God made it that way. But the created world is not in possession of ULTIMATE GLORY, the kind of glory that can satisfy your heart. The glory of the created world is SIGN GLORY.
All the glory of the created world is meant to be a sign that points us to the only glory that will ever give rest and peace to our hearts: the glory of God. We were designed to live for that glory. But we lose sight of the fact that the sign isn’t the thing; it's there to point us to the thing, and in forgetting this, we ask the sign to do for us what it cannot do.
In this way, life this side of eternity really is one big, unceasing glory battle. There could be no bigger issue than this, than what glory will rule your heart, and in ruling your heart, control your thoughts, desires, choices, words, and behavior. Sinful human beings in functionally denying the existence of God will stop at the sign, won’t care about what the sign points them to, and will ask of the sign what it will never be able to give.
That created thing with all its glory will not be their savior; no, it'll prove to be a cruel and inglorious master that takes much, but gives very little of what they were really seeking. Sex and Money are glorious, but they were created to be fingers that point you to the one glory you were designed to live for: the glory of God.
- What are some sign glories that you really enjoy? Here's a list of glories that I enjoy...
- In what ways have you turned these sign glories into something ultimate?
- How can you arm yourself for the glory war that will be fought on the turf of your heart?
Paul David Tripp