by Rev. Benjamin Chung
“The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me. Now my heart is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour.
Father, glorify your name! Then a voice came from heaven, ‘I have glorified it, and will glorify it again.’” (John 12:25-28 NIV84).
Did it ever occur to you that everything we do is to glorify God? After all, we are already created in His image! “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him” (Genesis 1:27). This is a tough challenge. But Jesus gave us the perfect example in His life on earth. Whether he was teaching, rebuking, praying, or casting out demons, it was all to the glory of the Father. Then, when Jesus was predicting His death, He tells the crowds of what they must do and think of their lives. They must consider their life as something they hate. This doesn’t mean we are to try to make ourselves sick, but that we need to consider what is most important, i.e. love Jesus more than ourselves so we can truly be His disciples (Luke 14:26).
As believers, this means that how we act privately and publicly should glorify the Father. When we are at home, we glorify Him by doing what we would not be ashamed to do in public. And in public we should speak and act in propriety and righteousness. This also means that when we haven’t functioned in a proper way, then our spiritual brothers and sisters should seek to restore us gently. After all, this is one of the primary functions of the church. We are to teach what is right and wrong so that we can apply it. Then, when one has acted correctly, we praise the person. And when one has acted incorrectly, we teach and correct. This also means that we must humble ourselves to receive the correction from our brothers and sisters. This is not easy for either the one who rebukes or the one who receives—not by a longshot. But if we don’t, then we aren’t living to glorify His name and we are not mature, either spiritually or even from a worldly sense. This is true discipleship.
Lastly, let us also recall James’s teaching: everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry (James 1:9). Such a church is a healthy church that glorifies God’s name and will thrive in all circumstances!
你有沒有想過，其實我們所做的一切行為都能榮耀神？ 畢竟，我們是按照著神的形象被造的。「神就照著自己的形像造人，乃是照著他的形像造男造女。」（創世紀1:27）。 這是一項艱鉅的挑戰。 但耶穌在地上的生命中已給我們一個完美的榜樣。 無論他是教導，譴責，祈禱，還是驅鬼，所有的行為也歸榮耀於神。 後來，當耶穌預言祂自己要死時，他告訴群眾必須行的事。他們必須「恨」自己的性命。 這並不意味著我們要恨惡自己，乃是愛主耶穌勝過愛自己的性命，才能作主的門徒 (路加福音 14:26）。（註：愛我勝過愛 - 原文是「恨」）
作為信徒，這意味著我們就算私低下或公開行事時都應該榮耀神。 當我們私低下在家時，我們的行為能榮耀神嗎？ 在公共場合時，我們的行為是否正當，說話是否有正義呢？ 若果我們沒有以榮耀神的方式生活時，我們的主內弟兄姊妹應該用誠實和溫柔來提醒我們。 畢竟，這是教會的主要功能之一。 教會應教導什麼是對與錯，以防弟兄姊妹誤入歧途，或受引誘。 然而，當弟兄姊妹的行為正確時，我們亦應該多於稱讚。 當有弟兄姊妹的行為不正確時，我們也應溫柔教導並糾正。我們必須謙虛地接受弟兄姊妹的勸勉。受勸勉或被勸勉時，都並不容易接受。 但如果我們不這樣做，那麼我們就不能在生活中榮耀神，無論是在屬靈上抑或世俗上，亦代表我們還未成熟。 這是門徒訓練的真締。