Although I made sergeant, I never learned to spit shine my shoes. I tried repeatedly. I had some of those who were best show me at different times and in diverse ways, tried to imitate their methods, and even got them to coach me. NO GO! Marines must look sharp and squared away at all times. So I paid one of those who could and kept the spit-shined shoes in my locker for inspections and other formal occasions. The ones that I “spit-shined” were the ones I wore to the office daily. (I was, incredibly given my current ineptness, a computer programmer 1967-1971). One morning as I arrived two minutes before the bell, as usual, my captain said, “Sgt. Ward, the Colonel wants to see you now!” There were lots of Colonels in Headquarters FMFPAC, but this one was the full bird battalion commander. My only question was, “May I go change to my dress shoes?” Two words, “No! Go!” If the Colonel noticed my less than glorious shoes, he never commented. We discussed the business which was all positive, I did my about face and left.
A man must earn the right to be called a Marine. Thereafter, he is proud and generally keeps himself in a way to show the importance he attaches to the title he wears. He inherits a glory from all those marines who went before and feels responsible to not only bring no shame to it but to add to it by his manner, dress, and devotion to duty.
We read about God’s glory and though we have sung about it and used the expression for years, few of us understand exactly what glory means. The basic meaning is "shining." God’s glory is God’s shining, his character and power shining like a billion watt bulb. Paul says the people could not look at Moses’ face when he came down from Mt Sinai “because of its glory,” which had been defined as, “his face shone” (2Cor3:7; Ex 34:29ff).
Since we call ourselves children of God, we should want to shine for him (Mt5:14-16, another passage that connects shining and glory). God called us "Christians," a title we should endeavor to wear with honor ("were called" in Acts 11:26 is also used in Mt 2:12, 22; Acts 10:22; Heb 8:5; et al.).
We tend to be absolutists. All pride is sinful; all boasting is wrong. (Some are so proud of their attitude in this that they will not even tell their children they are proud of them). But the word for glory is often translated boasting, which is glorying. Paul will boast in nothing but the cross of Christ, the Corinthians are his glory, and he has boasted of their readiness to give to the Macedonians; he commands them to glory (boast) in the Lord (Gal 6:14; 2Cor 1:14, 7:4, 9:2-4, 10:17). My shoes were not supposed to shine for their own glory, but to show mine as a Marine.
When the early church "suffered as a Christian," they caused the world that had no hope beyond this life to come to Christ to see what this was that men were willing to die for. They truly glorified the King of kings.
Christians wear a title that makes “Marine” insignificant; we wear the name of Christ and shine for him, i.e., bring him glory. Today, Christians must take pride in who they are, not to have glory, but to give glory to God. We must conduct ourselves so that others will say, “There goes a real Christian.” We should be so focused on the cross that we light the way for others. And, finally, we should shine so that God can say to Satan, “Have you considered my servant ___________________?” (Job 1:8).