One of the things I love about the Bible is that it does not give us black-and-white answers to all the dilemmas we face. It does, however, provide basic guidelines. Paul said to the Corinthians: ‘So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.’ (1 Corinthians 10:31).
So instead of asking: ‘Can Christians ________?’ (insert activity here), the better question is: ‘Can I do this in the name of Jesus and for His glory?’ Our lives as Christ-followers are completely immersed in Jesus. We died and rose with him and he lives in us. Our ethics must be tied to our identity.
This principle is not only to help us know what not to do; it also tells us how to go about doing all that we do. Paul told the Colossians: ‘Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.’ (3:17) Notice that word: whatever. Everything we do – every word and every action – is to be done in Jesus’ name, and with thanksgiving. Every moment is a gift, every breath is a gift, everything we eat and drink is a gift. In a sense, all of life is a sacrament, a sacred gift from God. Whatever we do, we do for his glory, because we are his and he is our life.
God’s main aim in our lives is to teach us how to love him, to love life, and to do all that we do with him and for his glory. The activity is not so much in question, as the heart of the person who does it. Living under the leading of the Holy Spirit is what shapes us into new people, who live for God and glorify him in whatever we do.
All things are lawful for me, but not all things are beneficial and not all things glorify God. Whatever I do – what I say and what I engage in – can and should be done in Jesus’ name and for his glory.
Gracious Abba, I have come to see that not everything in life is black and white. Help me to discern what is good and beneficial for me and what is not. Lead me, Holy Spirit, into a life that constantly glorifies you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
What is one area that you would like to see become an activity you could do for God’s glory?