On the nativity of the Lord, the heaven said to the people of earth: “Glory to God in the highest”. On the other hand, Herod killed the kids for the love of his own glory. In both Testaments glory is only given to God, while man gains his glory from him. Most of the shining verses state that glory is for God and we admit this. This is the glory that we saw on Christ, and was revealed through him on the cross. This glory fills the house of God, and it is for the people of God.

The bible derives from God and says that wise men do not inherit glory while people with humble spirits do. The bible doesn’t see any glory in any person other than that who has piety and wisdom (and these are for God). Therefore, the Lord said: “I do not receive glory from men”. Jesus also saw that the request of glory comes from the lack of faith. This is why he said to the Jews: “How can you believe, who receive honor from one another, and do not seek the honor that comesfrom the only God?” (John 5: 44).

A lot of people seek compliments and want to appear in people’s eyes. The request of leadership and control comes from our love of this worthless glory. Leaders that want support and posts seek this since posts are rarely gained through efficiency and education. The powerful helps the weak, not to honor him but to make him a follower. The weak tries to please the powerful because he fears him, he fears the suppression and the injustice of the leader. These “stooges” don’t disagree over an idea or a subject, but because of their different leaders or because each one follows a certain person.

What we conclude here is that we should seek our independence through piety that makes us the followers of God only. Sometimes this independence puts us on the edge (outside) of our society or makes us unaccepted from the powerful sides. However, in this case we find our immunity in God.

When a person loves others, he wants them strong and having independence in their opinions. He admits that their dignity comes from their Lord and no person could give another dignity. If I really love someone, I want him to be free, free from me because an unconditioned obedience to me is nothing but contempt towards someone I want as a follower.

This phenomenon is getting stronger in countries where the state is weak and do not protect people’s rights. The church can do nothing but read for people the bible that pushes them to only ask God’s glory. The church is not in a struggle with the powerful but it does say: “He (God) has put down the mighty from their thrones, and exalted the lowly”. The Church wants the person that considers himself “important” not to do so, but ask power from the grace to make himself a brother of all, a servant for those without waiting for any retribution or gratitude. The church asks him to serve the poor and the marginalized in order for them not to fear their weakness, for their weakness not to kill them.

If we all asked God’s glory, it would have settled on us and we would have been all equal in what God gave us, and we wouldn’t have felt any notability because of earthly money or power. “Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but to your name give glory”.

Translated by Mark Najjar

Original Text: “المجد الباطل” – 8.7.2001