Giving glory to your heavenly Father is a common theme in Christianity. Glorifying God may include prayer acknowledging God as the source and sustainer of all life and existence. Other ways to glorify God might be by doing works acceptable to the Father and furthering the Kingdom of God on earth. Whichever way we can give glory to God, it nevertheless begs a huge question. How can a flawed, corporal and mortal being actually give glory to God who is neither of these things? The disparity between a human being and God is so vast and our glory so inadequate, the pittance of accolades we can muster does nothing for God. So how can we truly give glory to God?
As always, Jesus leads the way. The Son of God instructs us exactly what it means to glorify his Father. He begins with simple examples drawn from our human experience. Jesus calls his disciples the “salt of the earth.” Salt is a common and known element and was an important mineral even in the ancient world. As you already know, salt was used to preserve food and enhanced food’s flavor, among other things. It was so important, the ancient Romans used it at a source of currency to paying their soldiers in salt instead of coins. The phrase, “worth your salt” come from this Roman practice. Salt back then was as valuable as gold and silver are now. Jesus’ point is if the essence of salt is removed, it devolves from being a valuable commodity to a worthless element. “But if salt loses its taste, with what can it be seasoned? It is no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.”
Jesus continues with another illustration, “You are the light of the word.” Obviously, light essential for plant, animal and human growth. Just as Jesus used the importance of salt to make his point, he uses light in the same way. Jesus is quick to tell his disciples a cautionary tale by hiding light under a bushel basket intentionally diminishing the usefulness of light.
Our particular Gospel passage ends in these words, “Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.” Clearly from the text, good deeds glorify the heavenly Father. But is this the only way in which to glorify the heavenly Father? According to the examples Jesus uses in the passage, there must be another way to glorify God.
In both instances, Jesus nullifies the usefulness of salt and light as being worthless if they do not do what they are intended to do. If the essence of salt and light no longer benefits humanity, they are of little value. Salt and light are created for man to use, once adulterated, they are no longer helpful. The lack of helpfulness is the outcome when the elements no longer represent their true natures; to season and to illuminate.
Glorifying God Means being the Person You Were Created to be
In the same way, a person acting contrary to his/her nature becomes less than what he was created to be. The effect of working against one’s nature tarnishes the image and likeness of God in himself, thereby making him less than himself. By diminishing and perverting human nature in way never intended, a person cannot give glory to God. For God created man with a nature and when the nature is honored, the creature is doing what was intended by God, de facto giving glory to God. Giving glory to the heavenly Father is by acting and living in a way in which we were created by abstaining from excesses and perversions in opposition to our God-given natures and purpose.
To help us, God has given his people the Ten Commandments. The prohibitions listed in the Ten Commandments warn us of the potential of committing evil acts rendering a person even unrecognizable to himself. The Beatitudes on the other hand, reminds people what a human being can be when he honors his nature and works on his relationship with God. Succinctly, blessedness is living an authentic human life which simultaneously gives glory to God by its authenticity.
Along with good deeds, a lowly person can glorify God by living the life God intends. And nothing more glorifies and pleases the heavenly Father than the blessedness of his creatures.