Book: DeYoung, Rebecca Konyndyk. Vainglory: The Forgotten Vice.
Point: Glory comes from, and ultimately is directed back, to God. But, “Glory goes bad when we desire it for the wrong things and for the wrong ends.”
Sources: Heavily based on writings of the Desert Fathers, Augustine, and Aquinas.
Path: DeYoung does a good job walking the line between the ugly reality of vainglory’s subversive and pervasive grip on our hearts and the hope that God is bringing us through it in patient sanctification. She helps us see what glory is, what it is when it is twisted by sin, and how we can recognize vainglory and fight against it in our own lives.
Agreement: DeYoung did an excellent job of revealing Vainglory for what it is, what it does to us, and how we can seek to daily put it aside. There were no “5 keys” or “10 easy steps”, because there aren’t any. I appreciate her careful approach.
Personal App: Am I aware of where vainglory has rooted in my soul and am I actively seeking to weed it out in the strength of the Spirit?
Favorite Quote: “Envy is cured only when our sense of worth is grounded in the unconditional love of God. With that secure foundation, we can receive and celebrate gifts in ourselves and others without envy, because no gift (and no amount of attention for it) makes us more or less accepted or loved by God. Our inferiority and superiority in this or that area is not the barometer of our dignity or worth. Taking this deeply rooted love to heart gives us freedom to embrace and celebrate God’s gifts as gifts to all of us — as common goods, not competitive goods. Is it any accident that vainglory and envy have a similar cure? When our self-love is grounded on the secure foundation of God’s love for us, we are free from excessive neediness for others’ attention and from the desire to “out-compete” others for more affirmation” (121).
Stars: 4 out of 5
Other books along this theme would be:
Humility by Murray
Humility: True Greatness by Mahaney