WE ARE TOLD not to glory in men and women, but God alone, but if any person can point the way to God or bring a profound sense of the reality of God’s existence and man’s accountability to Him, then such a life has not been lived in vain; it has lived – not just existed – in such an optimum way.
What differentiates men and women fifty or one-hundred years ago in comparison to the majority of lives of today? It is this: that no matter where a person may be at – Christian or non-Christian; atheist or believer – they brought a profound sense of otherworldliness; a higher sense of reality and a sense of eternity to the lives of many, just like Christ did with those who were devoted to Him down to the rich young ruler who sorrowfully chose not to pursue Him. They all acknowledged God and His being.
What kind of conviction do we bring to the lives of those we are in touch with, whether on a daily basis or one-off occurrence? Do we enrich those who share in the same faith as ours and do we unsettle the life of the agnostic or atheist? Do we cause other believers to desire more of God and do we stir the depths and unravel the arguments of those who defiantly state there is no God? We may not have to do it in word and confrontation but oftentimes in just the way we live. Are we producing an air of God-consciousness among those we come in contact with?
When studying the lives of Oswald Chambers, Robert Murray M’Cheyne, C.T. Studd, George Whitefield, C.H. Spurgeon, Leonard Ravenhill or A.W. Tozer (and these are just to name an exemplary few), we notice these were lives that impacted others around them; no one could confidently deny the existence of God or ridicule Christianity when acquainting themselves with such people. Just as Ecclesiastes states that God has put eternity into the hearts of men, so such men – with feet of clay – (human and prone to failings) awakened that and stirred others to discomfort in order to live for the Highest.
So no, we ought not to glory in men, but we can study such lives that influence us to live nearer to God and so bring a sense of Him to others.