Posted on Jan 15, 2020 by Mike LeDuke Next article:Giving With Gladness
What would you say if someone asked you how you spent your time every day?
Would you tell them what you do for work? Would you tell them about your hobbies? Or maybe your family and the time that you spend with them? Would you tell them about your faith?
Each of us would probably say something different — and yet, hopefully our answers would not be as dissimilar as they might at first appear. Consider again what the apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthians:
“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. Give no offense to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God, just as I try to please everyone in everything I do, not seeking my own advantage, but that of many, that they may be saved.” 1 Corinthians 10:31-33
In other words, somehow everything you do should point back to God. And thus, when explaining the way that you spend your time everyday to someone, ideally, that day could really be summed up in a simple sentence: I serve God.
But how can that be?
How is it that everything can somehow be done to the glory of God? Well, Paul addressed this issue — he said that even eating could be done to God’s glory. And, he explained how. Remember the context: Paul was writing to believers, some of whom had struggled previously with a belief in idols. Thus, consider Paul’s words just before his advice to do all to the glory of God. In this set of verses, Paul explained two ways to eat for the glory of God:
“But if someone says to you, ‘This has been offered in sacrifice,’ then do not eat it, for the sake of the one who informed you, and for the sake of conscience — I do not mean your conscience, but his. For why should my liberty be determined by someone else’s conscience? If I partake with thankfulness, why am I denounced because of that for which I give thanks?” 1 Corinthians 10:28-30
If someone explained that the food had been offered to idols, the believer was not to eat the food — for the sake of the person who informed them, so that they did not think that the believer believed in idols. Thus, here is the first way to eat to the glory of God: to always consider whether your actions will build up someone’s faith, or tear it down. At the same time, Paul also mentioned another simple way to eat for God’s glory: to give thanks.
In other words, when we act, it isn’t necessarily about our actions, but really about the intent and attitude behind those actions. Many things in life are not strictly good or bad — but they are made such by our attitude. In the same way, Paul wrote to slaves when he wrote his letter to Colossae:
“Bondservants, obey in everything those who are your earthly masters, not by way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord. Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.” Colossians 3:22-24
Paul knew that these slaves had very little agency regarding their tasks. But again, it wasn’t necessarily about what they were doing — unless they were doing something explicitly sinful. Thus, Paul focused on their attitude––they were to work hard, thinking about how in reality, their true master was Christ.
So how do you think about your job? Or what about the tasks that you have to do that you don’t necessarily enjoy? What about chores around the house?
Regardless of the details in all of those instances, you can, based on your attitude, serve God in all of them.
God wants us to be generous with our time. In fact, He wants all of our time.
And so if someone were to ask us how we spend our time each day, regardless of the specifics, hopefully we could honestly tell them that we attempt to have a Godly attitude in everything that we do — and because of that, our time each day, has really been given to our God.
— Jason Hensley