“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31)
During his ministry, the apostle Paul wrote several letters to multiple churches. While it was normal for most of the churches to have some sort of problem that he was addressing, the church in Corinth was little short of a disaster. There was great disunity among the members, and several of them were living in ways that even unbelievers considered abominable. Naturally, they had quite a few questions for Paul about how they should behave. In the letter we know as 1 Corinthians, Paul endeavored to answer these questions.
One issue the Corinthians were dealing with was that of eating food offered to idols. Some church members saw nothing wrong with it, while others viewed it as a grievous sin. Paul took a middle-of-the-road approach, explaining that it all depended on the conscience of the person eating. If it caused them to stumble in their faith, then they shouldn’t eat. But there was nothing inherently wrong with it, since everything really belongs to God.
Having settled this, Paul then gave an ultimatum that could be applied to any situation. “Whatever you do,” he wrote, “do all to the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31) This seemingly simple command teaches us how we are to live, giving us a tool for how to respond to every circumstance. Whatever we do, it needs to be for God’s glory. This applies to absolutely everything. When we speak, we need to be kind and loving, encouraging one another. When we work, we need to be diligent and obedient, never complaining about our tasks. There are unlimited examples, but it all comes down to the simple fact that whatever we do casts a reflection on God. When we behave in a way that is true to His character, we show the world a bit of Him. This is where the Corinthian church was failing; they were so caught up in their own selfishness that they forgot to live for God.
This is still a problem for believers today. It’s so easy to chase after what we want, doing things our own way without a thought for what God wants. But as His followers, that’s not the way we’re supposed to live. Our lives are now dedicated to His service, and that’s not something we can take lightly. Every act needs to be for His glory. So when you’re in doubt about what to do in a situation, take a moment to reflect on how this will make God look. Will He get the glory—or will you?