Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name give glory,
for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness!
“The customer is always right.” This phrase was made popular by Marshall Field’s department store in Chicago in the early 1900’s. It was a customer service slogan, to help remind employees at the store of the importance of customer satisfaction. What started as a small saying has become a consumer mindset, always encouraging you to evaluate your personal satisfaction in a number of facets of life. You are supposed to be satisfied with an experience at a restaurant, your children’s school teacher, the service technician at the car dealer, and your marriage to name a few.
Then we hear this verse from the Psalm talking about our relationship with God. Outside of church, you are trained to be a good consumer, to find bang for your buck, but the psalmist reminds us that at church and when it comes to our faith, it is not about what we get, it’s about God. It’s a hard to remember, and even harder to do. You are trained to evaluate so much in life by what you get out of it, what it does for you, but then this verse tells us that faith and church has a different measuring stick.
What might this look like? A worship service is about what we give to God in our worship, instead of what we get out of it. Music at church is not like an iPod, where you skip or ignore some songs that you don’t like, and only listen to your favorites. A church’s budget is not meant to be a list of what I want to spend money on, but what God has led leaders in the church to invest in for God’s kingdom. A church’s vision is not meant to be a reflection of what they want or they can do, but a reflection of what God has called them to, and what can do through them. One challenge to this psalm is that to give glory to God can be tough, it can call us to do as John the Baptist (John 3:30) says: “He must become greater; I must become less.” Sometimes to put God first means to put my desires, pet projects, passion, and plans on the back burner if you are truly focusing first on God, before anything else.
- When is it challenging for you to say, “Not to me God, but to Your glory?” What makes it challenging?
- How might you become less, so God can become greater?