5 Strategies to Stop Stealing God’s Glory

While I was in Kansas on a staff planning retreat with Planting Roots, I had an experience that made me wonder if I would ever be able to stop stealing God’s glory. It challenged the way I look at shining so others would come to know Him and ultimately giving Him all the glory.

I walked out onto the expansive front porch of the vacation rental home to marvel at God’s artistry as the sun set over the adjacent fertile field waiting for farmers to plant corn. I snapped a few photos with my phone and then tapped the icon to turn the camera around so I could take a selfie with the sunset, thinking my family would enjoy seeing me in my element. 

Instantly I noticed the issue. 

Are you stealing God’s glory, too?

As the time counted down to capture the image, the algorithms inside my phone’s camera made my face the focal point. The brilliant colors of the sunset behind me faded to the same muted grey hues as the rest of the dusky evening sky. 

I chuckled at first, thinking it had just been a silly idea. But as I explained to my friend what happened, I became increasingly horrified.

When I tried to get in the picture with God’s handiwork, I made myself the star of the show. 

I wondered how many other times I’d been guilty of stealing God’s glory simply by trying to share the stage with Him. It was as if I thought my presence in the picture would make it better.

As a Christian blogger and speaker, this keeps me tossing and turning at night. But I don’t think the issue solely affects those who serve in ministry-related roles. We can all be guilty of stealing God’s glory. And Satan may be even more adept at sneaking this little subversion into your daily life than you’d ever guess. 

So, how do we go about making a concerted effort to stop stealing God’s glory?

These 5 strategies will help you stop stealing God’s glory!

5 Strategies to Stop Stealing God’s Glory

Recognize my skills as God’s gifts. 

The skills and abilities He has blessed me with are the only reason I enjoy success of any kind. He chose to create me this particular way for His particular purposes. So I can use what He has given me for His glory. God’s gifts are for His glory. That is our purpose here on earth, the reason He doesn’t just take us home to heaven after He saves us. He can use us to show others His glory, so that they might know Him and His salvation, too.

Realize God is in all you do. 

There is no good work apart from Him. He not only prepares our good works in advance, He equips us to accomplish them through His Holy Spirit. When we’re doing tasks that don’t seem particularly spiritual, like cleaning toilets, changing diapers, or doing taxes, it can be easy to think they may be separate from God’s realm. But there is nothing under the sun that is not under the Son. We are challenged to do everything we do for His glory.

There is nothing under the sun that is not under the Son. #godsglory #wonder Click To Tweet

Remember God sees. 

El Ro’i sees us and our hearts even if nobody else does. He knows us and all the ways we serve. We don’t have to draw attention to ourselves to make us look good in His eyes. So, if we’re drawing attention to ourselves, it is probably to make us look good in man’s eyes. Trusting God sees my good works eliminates my need to be seen by man.

stop stealing God's glory
Trusting God sees my good works eliminates my need to be seen by man.

Remove myself from the picture. 

It can be so difficult to separate ourselves from the work we do. When I deliver a well-crafted message to a group of people either in person or through blog posts, I write and speak the words. I create the graphics and edit the grammar. Then, I stand there with my knees knocking and my hands sweating while I wait to receive the accolades or the attacks. And unless I remove myself from the picture entirely the weight of that can become crushing. But remembering any good I do, is God working through me enables me to remove myself from the picture and relieves the pressure to perform. He can bear the burden of both the accolades and the attacks.

Revere God above all else. 

It is an honor to be invited to partner with God in His plans, but he doesn’t need us or our help to accomplish His will on earth. He wants us. And that is a humbling honor. But any desire to be in the frame with God reveals a heart longing for His fame. When we have a proper awe and reverence for the power and majesty of God we are able to simply point to what He has done. When He is enough, we don’t have to be.

Trusting God sees my good works eliminates my need to be seen by man. #elroi #stealinggodsglory #godsglory Click To Tweet

A Prayer to Stop Stealing God’s Glory

Click the image to download a printable PDF copy of this prayer.

I never intend to steal God’s glory, but I confess it does happen every now and then. Or perhaps more often than those words make it seem. But I know if I ask God for help, He is faithful to come to my aid. So, I’ve written a prayer for myself. I intend to post it in my fancy new office above my desk so I can pray every day to stop stealing God’s glory. 

Dear Heavenly Father,

You are Most High, Sovereign God and there is nothing here on earth that is not for Your glory. Help me, Lord, to recognize all the skills You’ve give me are for Your glory. To realize You are there in every single thing I do and to remember that You see it all and You alone, know my heart. I don’t have to try to please man because You are already pleased with me for the sake of Jesus. Help me remove myself from what You’re doing and relieve the pressure I feel to perform. Father, it is an honor to partner with You to do Your will on earth, but sometimes I forget You are enough. Forgive me and show me by Your Holy Spirit how to point to Your power and majesty instead of trying to be seen in it with You. Point out my transgressions and lead me in Your everlasting way.

In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

5 Strategies to Stop Stealing God's Glory

17 thoughts on “5 Strategies to Stop Stealing God’s Glory

  1. Oh wow!!! To think I sing that I surrender all to Him and yet, occasionally, I steal from His glory. Thanks for this piece. It’s a post that has helped humble me

  2. Thank you for opening my eyes on this topic! I have never thought of stealing God’s glory before, but you are so right! No matter how difficult, we must remove ourselves from the picture. Great post!

  3. So true… and so challenging! I love your selfie example and can totally relate. We don’t intentionally set out to steal God’s glory (the very idea is horrific!) yet I fear that it sneakily happens sometimes. Thanks for the reminder to remove myself from the picture. Stopping by from #faithonfire

    1. Right! Satan is so sneaky! He knows it would horrify is if it was an easy thing to see. Reminding myself…I’ve got that prayer printed and framed and sitting on my desk! ☺️

  4. From our travels the past few years, I have hundreds of pictures of landscapes, sunsets, art, architecture, nature, animals, my kids, etc but when I asked my husband to take a selfie, he tried to find a way to avoid it. He is a typical man and doesn’t really like getting his picture taken but when I asked, he had to stop taking in the moment and focus on the picture taking process. Which not only takes time, but if it’s not just right, we had to take another. It took me a few selfie pictures of him grumbling and time wasted to realize what I was doing. I had a similar ah ha moment as you described and realized my need to be in the pictures was completely selfish. My husband inadvertently shown me a way to focus more on God. I admire the way he takes in the beauty of the world which has made me appreciate it even more! Now I enjoy the occasional candid shots of us taking in creation. I am thankful I realized I don’t need to be in a picture to know and feel God’s creation.

  5. I was challenged on this year’s ago with a book I read on wisdom & how we can unwaringly take God’s place in other’s lives, especially as leaders, teachers, clinical counselors & mentors. it stopped me in my tracks! In no way do I EVER want to seem to be doing that or to take His glory!
    Great post! Thank you for the reminder.

    You’re most welcome to join me in a cuppa,
    Bless you this Easter,
    Jennifer

  6. Wow! This is so convicting. All I could think was,”how often do I do this?” Thank you for pointing this out. And for the beautiful prayer to keep me grounded.

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