Have you heard the marriage advice that says you shouldn’t use “absolute” words when you’re in an argument with your spouse?
For example, don’t say, “You always leave your clothes in a pile on the floor.” Or, “You never close the drawer when you put the scissors back.” Your spouse will immediately try to think of the one time he/she actually did or didn’t do whatever you’re accusing them of!
Today we’re not talking about marriage advice, but we are talking about an absolute word.
“Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” ~1 Corinthians 10:31
Do you see it in this verse – the word “all?” No way to wiggle around that – all means all!
In the context of this passage, Paul is talking about whether or not the Corinthians should eat meat that’s been offered to idols. He reminds them that whatever they choose to do, it should be done so that God is glorified.
Eating and drinking are small parts of our daily lives. If it’s important that we do those things in a way that glorifies God, how much more should we evaluate other areas of our lives?
It’s easy to get caught up in the busyness of life and fail to take the time to actually consider the question, does what I’m doing honor God? And how can we determine if an activity, a hobby, a habit, or a conversation is being done to the glory of God?
Below are a few questions we might ask ourselves to determine that. As we answer them, may our heart’s desire be to do all things as an act of worship to Him with a grateful heart for all He’s done for us.
Does what I’m doing go against a Biblical principle?
To answer this question, we have to know our Bible. The only way we can know what honors God is by reading and studying His Word. Anything we do that is contradictory to Scripture is not going to glorify God.
Does it show that I respect God and want to please Him?
That’s the attitude we want when it comes to bringing glory to God – a desire to show Him respect and to please Him with our thoughts, words, and actions.
Here’s where the Holy Spirit who lives in us can help. As we listen to His Spirit guiding us through God’s Word and our conscience, we can determine if what we’re doing brings Him honor.
Am I doing it for my own glory?
We may need to evaluate what outcome we’re hoping for as we decide if we’re going to move forward. Do we want to simply do what satisfies our own wants and desires? If so, that’s doing something for our own glory, not His.
Does what I’m doing point others to Him?
I think this is the most relevant question considering the context of the passage. What we choose to do or not do can affect fellow believers and the unsaved around us.
Will my eating or drinking or whatever else I’m doing cause others to want to learn more about my faith? Will it point them to the gospel? Or am I just focused on myself and what I want to see happen?
I think Jon Bloom sums this up well in his article from the blog Desiring God.
“We glorify God when, out of love for him, we lay down our rights, our freedoms, in eating or drinking or whatever in order to do what is most loving toward others, either for the “progress and joy [of their] faith” (Philippians 1:25), or that they may be saved (1 Corinthians 9:22).”
May the simple reminder in 1 Corinthians 10:31 lead us to glorify God in everything that we do.
- How to Make Our Words and Thoughts Pleasing to God
- 5 Ways to Be Consistent in Bible Reading and Prayer
- How to Overcome the Sins We’ve Learned to Tolerate