How can we possibly move away from this snare? We are taught at such an early age that success is defined by bigger and better. We compare ourselves among ourselves and look for affirmation from our peers. Here we see from the gospel of John this is nothing new and something to remember as we grow up into Him. The Spirit that drives this has been around since the fall of man, and will endeavor to allure us with the worldly system.
This Greek word for love in this verse is agape, the love that God has and shows in and through His self sacrificial acts for the well being of another. Used in this verse’s context we would understand their love for mans glory to be twisted and perverted because it is self serving. It strives to benefit them, to exalt them.
Our aim is to glorify God, not ourselves. Jesus said, I do not seek my own glory. From Matthew 5 we read where Jesus said, 41 I do not receive glory from people. 42 But I know that you do not have the love of God within you. 43 I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not receive me. If another comes in his own name, you will receive him. 44 How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God?
In Luke 12:43 we find Jesus denouncing the Pharisees with “Woe to you Pharisees! For you love the best seat in the synagogues and greetings in the marketplaces.”
John wrote in his epistle this spirit is of the world and is not from the Father. John called it the pride of life. This worldly spirit drives us to find our worth in the glory that comes from worldly things that are defined by man and not God. Jesus called this Mammon in Matthew 6 and tells us we cannot serve Mammon and God at the same time. You love one or the other, not both. We understand mammon, while it includes money is so much more than money, and is anything that we build our trust in other than God.
Jesus’ question: “How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God” hits to the heart of the matter. How can we believe the Father or His word, when we are constantly putting our trust in what we can glean from man?
Man can never replace what God has intended we receive from Him. When we love man’s approval, when we seek man’s validation, we fall back into the worlds system of mammon and are snared by the pride of life. When we continually seek the glory that can only come from our Father, we strive for those things pleasing to Him and find ourselves enjoying the glory He gives.