Have you ever had one of these in your life?
If you have, you’ve probably never forgotten the sting of being near them. In tragic situations, these groups are the vultures that swoop in and cause mass damage and heartache. In more intimate settings, they can send you running for your tissue, Tums or toilet because the gag reflex gets too intense to handle. Trust me you’ll want to know who they are and how to avoid them.
Thankfully, Paul describes them quite well in our next verse in Philippians.
“Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.” Philippians 2:3
There are times I feel as though the Word of God simply and beautifully explains something to the point where I can just say God bless you and end it. This verse is one for me. But of course there’s more to this story. Let’s look at the literal translation.
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vainglory, but with humility of mind let everyone consider others as superiors…” Phil 2:3
So what is a Glory Hound?
In our society, not unlike historical societies, we put people on these great big pedestals. Some go higher up than others. Some people think if they look or act a certain way that they will, upon first impression, be put on a pedestal. This is our first category of people. The pedestal is where they stand, whether tall or small, and they look down on everyone else. They grab at the chance to grow their pedestal so much, that at every opportunity to brag they jump at it. It is in a word conceit. Conceit is false pride. It can also disguise itself as false humility. We know these people well. They brag (sheepishly) about the sickness, tragedy, or turmoil in their lives. They hope for attention, sympathy and control. They complain, loudly and long about every terrible thing from broken finger nail to foot out of joint. Look at this verse in Galatians and if you have time, click here to read all of chapter 5&6 of Galatians. (Wow, what a context!)
“Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.” Galatians 5:26
This leads to turmoil and the decay of any group of believers. What’s the remedy? Go up one verse in Galatians to vs. 25.
“If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” Gal. 5:25
Who are the Backbiters?
These are a little harder to spot in a group because they don’t like to be in the center of attention. A Glory Hound can also be a Back Biter so watch out for the double barrels of trouble. Simply put, they cause strife which usually stems from jealousy. What does the Word of God say about that?
“For where envying and strife [is], there [is] confusion and every evil work.”
How do we spot them?
Are you confused? That is the simplest way. If you are the object of their displeasure, you’ll never hear it straight from their mouths. You’ll hear it from your friends. Bill had a situation recently come up with a backbiter who complained about him to his friend. Bill has good friends, and this one stood up for him. But, it didn’t end there. The backbiter then came back around and told Bill his friend was saying bad things about him. Bill had to ask the friend about it plainly just to get to the bottom of the confusion. When he did he realize the friend stood up for him, and the backbiter was just stirring the pot, he realized what he was dealing with. Ha! Sometimes you just have to ask direct questions with courage to get to the bottom of it. Do this by revelation otherwise it can backfire. For Bill, there was confusion, heartache, potential loss of a dear friend and gossiping behind his back. I’m sure you know the situation. They promote the behavior on shows like Friends, Seinfeld, The Big Bang Theory, How I Met Your Mother, Baby Daddy, and just about every other syndication there is. It can be used humorously but very rarely does it leave everyone in tact.
Let’s back up in James.
“But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but [is] earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife [is], there [is] confusion and every evil work.” James 3:14-16
Wow, see that phrase “glory not” there’s our glory hounds. They are in the same destructive behavior type with envying and strife. See how The Word fits together like a hand in glove. Which leads me to the “Bucket Dippers”.
What is a Bucket Dipper?
A friend of mine told me how it works last night. She said, you have your little bucket of happiness that you take with you all the time. These people come along and dip into that bucket and steal some of it. I loved that analogy. I bet you’ve already guessed that they are the envying type. Envy is so insidious. It happens before we know it and grows without warning. It’s like a cancer. It turns bitter, twisting and evil, so evil it ushers in “every evil work”. It can cause the damage of fiery darts that sting for a lifetime. Here’s a simple policy to keep from being a Bucket Dipper.
Share, don’t compare.
There will always be someone with more money, more talent, more intelligence, more beauty, more, more, more…than you. So why waste our time trying to keep up with them. People are people. There are billions of them dwelling here with us. Most of the time we don’t have trouble with the billions, it’s a sibling, spouse, child, or family member who is close. Let’s go back to Galatians.
“For all the law is fulfilled in one word, [even] in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another. [This] I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.” Galatians 5:14-16
Wow, how poignant! And further down the chapter notice we’re back where we started.
We landed back at the solution again. Walk in the spirit. How? God if you were me what would you do to bless_______? It’s so simple and look how much trouble is avoided. I think we’ve all been, at times, one of these three categories, glory hounds, back-biters or bucket dippers. God knows these behaviors lead to defeat and problems. If we find that we are doing one of these the best remedy is in James.
“But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you.” James 4:6,7,&8a
If you have one of these people in your life, you have the great opportunity to help them out of it by walking in the Spirit. If it continues to happen with them, it will only continue to happen. You must find out from God if it’s time for a change.
God bless you today.