Whatever You Do . . . {Another 1 Corinthians Sneak Peek}

I have officially crossed the half-way marker in my writing for the Fall study I will be teaching on the book of First Corinthians. Thank you so much for those of you who are praying me through! Needless to say, blogging has taken more of a back seat than usual, so I thought I’d post another excerpt from the study. The verse being applied here is 1 Corinthians 10:31:

“Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”

For several years after I graduated high school I served in my church’s youth ministry, the highlight of which was getting to enjoy the retreats and camps right along with the students. One year our youth pastor brought in a retreat speaker who told our students (and I quote), “Have all the sex you want to the glory of God.” The second the words came out of his mouth, the middle school students giggled while the high school students sat wide-eyed and speechless. All I could think of in that moment was the damage control I was going to have to do as a leader of girls who were sure to ask a thousand questions about that statement.

Fortunately, the speaker followed his provocative declaration with really solid teaching. His point was that for an unmarried person, “having all the sex you want for the glory of God” means having no sex at all. God’s commands are a reflection of Himself. Because of that, a person absolutely cannot break God’s law by having sex outside of marriage and glorify Him at the same time. A body engaging in sin cannot be a body reflecting God’s image as He intended. That’s why sin of any kind is so detestable in the eyes of a God whose very purpose in creating us was His own glory. He desires for even the most mundane tasks like eating and drinking to point to Him and reflect His worth. All of life is worship, or at least it should be.

So, in light of 1 Corinthians 10:31,  I would like to take what that retreat speaker said to our students and rephrase it in a few ways that may strike a chord with adult Christian women:

  • Yell and scream at your kids to the glory of God.
  • Spend obsessive amounts of time at the gym to the glory of God.
  • Tell a dirty and/or racist joke to the glory of God.
  • Compromise your sacred marriage covenant to the glory of God.
  • Shack up with that guy to the glory of God.
  • Make alcohol a central part of your social life to the glory of God.
  • Routinely choose sports, recreation, entertainment, and home improvement over church to the glory of God.
  • Read pornographic novels – all “shades” of them –  to the glory of God.
  • Go see Magic Mike (or any other blatantly inappropriate movie) to the glory of God.
  • Watch sitcom characters dialogue about their private parts to the glory of God.
  • Listen to Katy Perry sing about kissing a girl and liking it to the glory of God.
  • Flaunt your boobs and other body parts to the glory of God.
  • Gossip, belittle, and criticize others to the glory of God.
  • Ignore your family and your home so that you can pin, tweet, or update your status to the glory of God.
  • Refuse to forgive and hold that grudge to the glory of God.

Don’t these sound utterly ridiculous? Each and every point is an absolute impossibility. And yet aren’t we constantly fooling ourselves into thinking we can dabble in sin and still live God-glorifying lives? Or that we can sing “Holy, Holy, Holy” on Sunday and seek to defy God’s authority by doing our own thing the rest of the week? If God cares about our eating and drinking, then He most definitely cares about the subtle immorality we carelessly putter around in. “Whatever you do” means “WHATEVER you do.” No exceptions.

Sadly, the life of the typical Christian in America reflects God’s glory about as well as a carnival mirror. Interestingly, we get all worked up when unbelievers don’t take God seriously. But do we? Do we take Him seriously? All too often, the answer is “no.” And rarely do we have to look further than our media preferences to prove it.

I hope you don’t feel like the morality police just rolled into town. The point of all this is not that we would be good boys and girls obeying all the rules and retreating from society as much as possible. The point is that we would start to see our lives as platforms for God to show off His glory; as stages upon which He can display His majesty; as channels through which He can broadcast His goodness and grace to a world so desperate to see that the gospel really does make a difference. When I started seeing my life that way, obedience became an honor instead of burden. Holiness became a source of tremendous happiness instead of an exhausting duty. My life became a beautiful story of redemption instead of boring record of a church girl who tried her best to be good. Even the mundane started to have meaning. Seeing my life as a platform for God’s glory changed everything for me. With all my heart, I desire the same for you.

There is perhaps no command that, when heeded, has more potential to transform the church of Jesus Christ than 1 Corinthians 10:31. The health and influence of the Church throughout the ages has always depended on a passion for the glory of God, an insistence on worship as a lifestyle, and a radical commitment to live all of life coram Deo – before the face of God.

And that will never, ever change.

Have mercy on us, O Lord . . .



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