All for God’s Glory

“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31).

One of the many issues the Corinthians dealt with was the eating of food offered to idols. Some insisted there was nothing wrong with it, since they weren’t worshiping the idols just by eating the food. Others, however, made a point of avoiding this food, believing that eating it would join them to the evil to which the food had been offered. Paul’s solution to this dilemma was fairly simple: “‘All things are lawful,’ but not all things are helpful. ‘All things are lawful,’ but not all things build up” (10:23).

In other words, there wasn’t anything inherently wrong with eating this food. But there were many ways it could be unhelpful. Weaker Christians who still believed eating it was wrong would be confused if they saw more mature believers eating the food. It could even be damaging to their Christian walk. Also, Paul indicated that believers could refuse to eat the food as a witness to unbelievers, providing a practical application of their separation from the world.

“Let no one seek his own good,” Paul instructed, “but the good of his neighbor” (10:24). Our freedom in Christ means that we can do a great many things, but we’re not looking out for only ourselves. We must consider how our actions will affect those around us, especially our fellow believers. We must remember that we are here for God’s glory, not our own pleasure. Yes, we technically have the freedom to do whatever we like—that is, things that are not clearly described as sinful in the Bible—but if we can’t glorify God while we’re doing it, why would we even want to do it? It could damage our witness to unbelievers or cause a fellow believer to stumble. In these so-called “grey areas” of life, the question is not whether it’s lawful or not; the question is if this will help or hinder someone else, and ultimately if it will bring God glory or bring shame to His name.

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