After I penned Whatever You Do, I read a story online about a pastor who bought his wife a $200,000 car. I thought about the last part of 1 Corinthians 10:31 which says, “do all to the glory of God.” I reflected on the post, this article, the various reactions of the key players, and the blog commenters.
“Whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31)
Glory of God
Paul was writing about a practice considered taboo to some early Christians, eating meat sacrificed to idols. The practice isn’t clearly condemned in Scripture. Many practices aren’t commended or condemned in Scripture.
We have a Choice
We are directed how to use our money, but the choice is ours. In fact, God created us to choose and he allows us to enjoy the benefits and suffer the consequences of our choices. And even when we’re given general direction, like in Jesus words from Luke 6:38, “give and it will be given to you,” we’re encouraged to give and then we’re told what we will receive.
Jesus tells the rich ruler (Matthew 19:21) if he wants to be complete, he should sell all of his possessions and give the money to the poor. But Jesus doesn’t seem to give anyone else the exact same direction. Clearly, giving to those in need is commanded. But even the disciples are admonished when they suggest that a costly vial of perfume be sold and given to the poor (Matthew 26:6-13, Mark 14:3-9, John 12:1-8).
We always Choose
Whatever our circumstances, we have a choice. We can do what we do to glorify God or for ourselves. We may protect ourselves, strive for our own comfort or many other reasons. For me, glorifying God means doing what he wants me to do. Even when I’m not sure, I still have to make a choice. Not choosing is often the least acceptable choice. Sometimes I choose to give and other times I do not. And there are times when I spend money on myself, and others when I give sacrificially. Some of those purchases cause little or no regret. Others, not so much.
Fix What I Can
There are thousands of reasons we fail to glorify God. Before I judge someone else, I need to remember the times I fall short. I hope to remember what the Bible teaches about condemning others. Or even what it teaches about condemning myself. Jesus said he didn’t condemn the woman in John 8:11, either. See John 8:1-11, Matthew 7:1-6. Maybe I shouldn’t condemn others either.
Instead, I want to remember Jesus paid for my sin and my shortcomings. When I miss the mark, he causes even my shortcomings to work for good and for his glory. Trying to do whatever I do for God’s glory is work enough.
News like this and other’s possessions can prompt me to glorify God. I hope even my own fear, or greed will remind me to glorify God. Glorifying God is within my control. What anyone else does is not. When I do everything for God’s glory, he becomes visible to others and, he takes care of everything else.