READING: Psalms 126-128, 1 Corinthians 10:19-33
“Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for God’s glory.”
1 Corinthians 10:31
God knows our hearts. He hears our thinking. He reads our motives. All of these phrases, frankly, strike me with a bit of fear. Because I know how often my motives are impure and my thinking isn’t fully Christ-honoring, I struggle with the consideration that God knows it all. I realize that He truly does, but that truth is hard for me to fathom. It makes me uncomfortable, in fact, because of my sin.
You see, sometimes my heart is motivated more by a desire for popularity than I care to admit. I never want to be driven by dollars, but I do like the security of having a few dollars in the bank. My ego remains big enough that I like recognition for a job well done, and that affirmation provides something for me beyond just recognition; it gives me a sense of well-being. I’m 56 years old, and I’m embarrassed to admit that I still struggle with my heart that too readily moves in the wrong direction.
In today’s reading, the apostle Paul reminded the Corinthians that they were to check their own motives themselves: “Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for God’s glory” (1 Cor. 10:31). He was discussing their responsibility not to abuse their Christian liberty, being careful instead to put others above themselves (1 Cor. 10:23-30). Sometimes that commitment meant saying “no” to privileges for the sake of others – but whatever decision the Corinthians made, they were to do everything they did for God’s glory. One way to do that was to strive to avoid unnecessarily offending others, meaning the Corinthians were to do nothing that hindered others from believing the gospel and following God (1 Cor. 10:32-33).
Inherent in Paul’s command to do everything for God’s glory is a belief that all aspects of our lives can indeed glorify Him. My work at the seminary can glorify Him, but so can my daily workout at the gym. So can my writing stuff like this devotion and my blogs . . . and my visiting someone who is sick . . . and traveling overseas to assist cross-cultural workers . . . and cutting my grass or weeding the flowers . . . and confronting a wayward student . . . and hiking in the mountains . . . and on and on and on. When my heart is pure and my actions are righteous, all that I do can honor the Father so others might come to know Him.
My problem is that I too often forget these truths. I go through the daily motions of my Christianity, but I fail to ask, “Am I genuinely pleasing God with a pure heart and obedient hands?” Perhaps if I did more self-reflection, I would make more conscious decisions to do everything I do with the glory of God in mind.
- Consider whether you are genuinely willing to give up your Christian liberty for the sake of others.
- Do everything you do today for God’s glory.
PRAYER: “Father, I make my commitment to honor you all day long. Help me to keep my word.”
TOMORROW’S READING: Psalms 129-131, 1 Corinthians 11:1-16