JR Vassar, Glory Hunger: God, the Gospel and Our Quest for Something More. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2015. 144pp. $14.99
People want to be known. There is something inside every person that is craving attention and desiring to be known. We are all hungry for being known, for being successful, for being seen. In his new book, Glory Hunger, JR Vassar writes that we are all glory hungry. We all have a deep desire to be great and for the glory to be on ourselves. But there is only one place that glory should be going towards, and that is God. However, it is in our sinful nature to want to steal this glory from God and put it on ourselves. “Our glory hunger is not just a desire to see and respond to greatness. It is a desire to possess greatness and have others respond to it” (Loc. 154). We want the glory for ourselves and to be known. We steal this glory from God.
In our desire for glory, it is important that we don’t confuse simple compliments from others or congratulations from a co-worker as stealing glory. What comes out of them is our glory hunger. When we get a compliment, promotion or congratulation from someone how do we react or what do we think? When we seek out those compliments and look for opportunities to be known and have people know us, we are seeking after glory. Vassar writes that we are desperate for praise of people (Loc. 322) and this is because we are “broken people looking to other broken people to fix our broken lives” (Loc 420). The only thing that can fill this desire for glory in our lives is God through Jesus. We see God’s glory fully through Jesus, and are able to reflect that glory back to Him, where it is due.
When we invest in this world and seek the glory that is found in it, we will come up empty every time. What fills us in this world will always leave us dissatisfied and hungry again. “To invest fully in what is transient is the ultimate bad investment. To exalt ourselves is to run against the grain of the universe, and it is the surest way to sabotage our life and joy” (Loc. 1183). Vassar keeps returning to the point that what we strive for in this world will fade, and only through Christ are we able to find glory, joy and fulfillment. We are to be beings that reflect glory back to that which is worth glorifying in Christ Jesus.
Vassar has written Glory Hunger at a time when many churches and pastors try to make much of themselves. We see large events, productions and programs at churches that truly makes a bigger deal about who they are and puts more attention on themselves than truly goes on Christ. Many pastors are no different in this either. Many pastors today are seeking stardom through social media and book deals, and want their name to be known and heard. The glory must not go on the church or the pastor but on Christ. This is a very timely book for where many people, pastors and churches are headed. I would recommend every pastor reading this book and helping to lead their church in a way that gives God the glory alone.
This is an honest review written in exchange of a review copy of Glory Hunger from Crossway publications.