And I was unknown personally to the churches of Judea that are in Christ; they only kept hearing that “the one who once was persecuting us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy.” So they glorified God because of me. Galatians 1:22-24
They glorified God because of me.
Read that again, “They glorified God because of me.”
When I first read these verses, it seems to me that people praised God because of the eloquence and clarity of preaching Paul was delivering each time he stood up. Isn’t this familiar among us? We get in trance when we hear a gifted speaker. When the preacher’s words thunders into our hearts we thank God. We exalt God’s name when we witness how God bestows his grace for a man or a woman to deliver his message in such a powerful way. For his preachers, gifted pastors, inspiring speakers, we have glorified God. They glorified God because of Max Lucado. They glorified God because of Joel Osteen. They glorified God because of Bo Sanchez and so on. And this is not wrong.
But this is not the reason why Paul blurted, “They glorified God because of me.”
Look at the people’s description of him, “the one who once was persecuting us is now preaching the faith he once destroyed.” There’s still an element of Paul’s preaching. Yet the core significance of this group of words is that there was a change in Paul’s life. Something in him changed…the one who was persecuting us is now preaching the faith he once destroyed…They glorified God not because of his preaching, but because Paul was changed. There was an archetype directional shift in him. 180 degrees.
So in turn, Paul was writing to the Galatians to focus on the important part of preaching – being changed for God. No gift of preaching, no authority of speaking or any other skill for ministry will ever overshadow the power of a life changed by God.
A changed life gives us a reason to glorify God.
Your changed life gives people a reason to glorify God.