By David Wong, 21, Singapore
“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” —1 Corinthians 10:31 (ESV)
Many things dominate our lives, whether we are in high school or university. We could spend all day in front of the computer, or stay up into the wee hours of the night going through piles of readings. Other activities could include: hanging out with friends, blogging, playing sports, shopping, reading novels, watching movies, listening to music, eating, studying, more eating, facebook-ing, catching up on your favorite television dramas, etc.
Face it! We do not like doing nothing. We fill our time with activity after activity (whether mentioned above or not). As Christians, however, we should consider what God thinks of these activities, and the way we use our time.
Just a couple of days ago, God reminded me of something my youth pastor mentioned a long time ago. Though I cannot remember the exact words, the principle behind it is that we need to be intentional in glorifying God. I took this to mean that it is not possible to glorify God by accident; we have to make it a point to glorify Him in everything we do.
If we were to take this principle and put it alongside 1 Corinthians 10:31 which basically tells us that the purpose behind all the things we do is for “the glory of God”, we will see that we fall short in many ways. For glorifying God is simply not a consideration in most of the activities in our busy life.
I don’t think we can glorify God by accident (though I acknowledge that in His sovereignty, He can cause all things to work for His glory. However that is not the point here). I believe that if we truly want to live for God, then the purpose behind all our activities must be to the glory of God.
So what are some practical implications? It would mean that we eat to the glory of God (personally I don’t see how snacking glorifies God); we love to the glory of God; we watch television to the glory of God; we use our money to the glory of God (yes that means shopping too); we dress to the glory of God (yes, both guys and girls); we get into a relationship to the glory of God; we spend our time to the glory of God, and the list goes on, as it has to encompass every aspect of our lives.
To take it one step further, I believe that unless what we do glorifies God, we should not do it. Why? Simply because the Bible tells us to “do all to the glory of God.” Doing things that do not have the glory of God in mind will simply be a waste of effort and time, with little or no significance.
In Ephesians 5:8,10,15-17, it says, “Walk as children of light… and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord… Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is” (emphasis added).
My friends, let us use our time wisely to the glory of God. Let us not waste time surfing the net aimlessly, or spend hours watching videos on YouTube mindlessly. Instead let us always ask ourselves how we can glorify God with the time that we have now. Always remember that there is an opportunity cost to whatever you decide to do with your time.
In closing, I would like to encourage you to put aside the things that do not glorify God—be it implicitly or explicitly wrong—by asking yourself: “Does this glorify God?” and “Does it give God the greatest glory?”
I acknowledge that many of the things I have said today may sound very restrictive and conservative, and choosing the God-glorifying way will definitely cost you something. In fact, as you are reading this post, you may have realized that some things you are doing (or are about to do) may not glorify God at all. They may not be wrong per se, but they do not glorify God. Friends, let me encourage you to put them aside for His sake. The world is full of temptations, but the Bible tells us to put off our old self which is corrupted by deceitful desires (Ephesians 4:22). These desires lie to you, they deceive you. Choose God, for there is certainly fullness of joy and everlasting pleasure in Him (Psalm 16:11).
It is definitely not easy. I can testify to the struggles it brings. But despite this, let us strive for it. Let not the immense difficulty deters us, but let us do it in God’s strength. Know that God will not leave us alone in this, but promises that He “will circumcise your heart… so that you will love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live” (Deuteronomy 30:6, emphasis added).
May the Lord lead you, and may you be sensitive to that leading, so that you may do all things to the glory of God.