Sunday Devotional: 1 Corinthians 10:31
Therefore whether you eat, or drink, or whatever you do, do all things unto the glory of God.
This verse comes at the end of Paul’s instructions to the church in Corinth regarding food sacrificed to idols: should they eat it or shouldn’t they? Paul’s main point is that the Christian is free to eat anything, as long as his conscience is clear. If his conscience is troubled by eating meat that has been offered to idols, then he should abstain. Equally, if his conscience is clear, but his freedom would cause his brother to stumble, then he should abstain.
There are two thoughts I want to draw from this for our consideration this week. The first is how we can sometimes regard our freedom in Christ as license, a freedom to do, forgetting it’s also a freedom to resist. Ultimately, this freedom is a freedom to serve God and honor Christ with our lives, without concern about ceremonial law or ritual, or the opinions of men. And this goes both ways: both in our freedom to act, and our freedom not to act. Our decision to do anything shouldn’t be based on peer pressure, or what our society and popular culture dictates, but on our desire to please God, and live lives that worship Him.
This leads to my second thought: everything we do should be to God’s glory. Which means, we can glorify God even in the mundane, physical activities we do. Whether it’s washing dishes, writing novels, or bagging groceries, if we seek to honor and glorify God with our whole lives, then we shouldn’t ever draw a distinction between these activities, and what we might call “spiritual” pursuits. Whatever we do, if done for the glory of God, is a spiritual pursuit, because our lives should be living sacrifices (Romans 12:1).
So often we separate our lives into “spiritual” and “non-spiritual.” We consider the spiritual things to be quiet times, reading our Bibles, going to church, and so on. These are very important, and should never be neglected. However, we then put down all other activity as “worldly”–our jobs, our hobbies, and so forth. Because they are usually things that engage the world, we struggle to see their spiritual benefit. We mustn’t forget, though, that this world was created by God and called “good.” Yes, there is sin and corruption in the world, and the ways of the world are not ways we should pursue–it is a fallen world. But that doesn’t mean we need to despise our jobs, or music, or anything else of the world simply because it’s not “spiritual.” Rather we need to take those things and use them for God’s glory. Eat that meal to the glory of God, and thank Him for His provision! Work your job for the glory of God, and bless His name for giving you employment! That, I think, is what Paul means by doing all things to the glory of God.
Have a blessed week!