Every Day Towards Eternity (1 Corinthians 10:31)
So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. —1 Corinthians 10:31
When we break down this verse, the core statement is this: “Do all to the glory of God.” Paul gives us several examples that fit into this “all”: eat, drink, and whatever. The goal here is to frame up the eternal perspective for the reader. All of life has an eternal trajectory. One of the goals of the believer ought to be to redeem the everyday routines of life for God’s glory. How do we leverage our daily routines for the sake of Jesus?
In the broader context of First Corinthians, Paul is giving the church at Corinth some biblical principles for dealing with the culture surrounding them. Corinth was famously home to temple worship, idolatry, and a hub of paganism. Not unlike our culture today, it’s a secular society in which the believers are the ambassadors of Christ to a world in need of God’s grace. Open your Bible to 1 Corinthians 10:23-33 so you can understand better Paul’s flow of thought here.
The word “so” in this verse connects Paul’s thoughts in the previous paragraph to the principle being stated in verse 31. Paul is discussing Christian liberties, in particular the proper way to eat and drink in a pagan culture and how to do it in such a way as to “build up” (10:23). Who is being built up? Verse 24 tells us one’s neighbor. Verse 32 also tells us this building up is toward Jews, Greeks, and the Church of God. Anyone. Everyone. All those you come in contact with, the goal is to help them see and savor Jesus through every means at our disposal. Honoring the conscience of our brothers while also seeking to love the unbelievers in our life.
To what end? What is Paul’s goal in this? How is God glorified (10:31), others built up (10:23), and the neighbor’s good sought? (10:24)
Paul tells us in verse 33, “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.” The particular way that the glory of God is manifested here is in the hope of salvation for the people that Paul is eating with. The goal here is not only that we enjoy God through every daily opportunity, but that by the conduct of our daily life we are enjoying him in such a way as to invite those around us to see Jesus, believe in Jesus, and to worship Jesus.
Paul tells us that even our daily eating and drinking is an opportunity to do these things in such a way as to glorify Jesus in the lives of those around us. So how do we do this?
A contagious love for God starts with a heart overflowing in joy for Jesus.
A contagious love for God seeks to glorify Jesus in daily life.
A contagious love for God spreads a passion for Jesus to encourage the believer and to exhort the unbeliever toward trusting and following Jesus.
Paul takes a grand concept, the glory of God, and brings it into the daily, mundane activities. How should this change your perspective about the ordinary things in your daily routine?
Who do you see on a daily or weekly basis that you can encourage in their walk with Jesus or exhort to trust and follow Jesus?
Paul sees even eating and drinking as an opportunity for evangelism, to seek the glory of God in the lives of those around us. Who do you need to invite over for a cup of coffee or a meal?