So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. (1 Corinthians 10:31 NIV)
In this verse, and in Romans 14:1, Paul addressed eating meat that had been sacrificed to an idol. Paul called this a disputable matter. Something that was morally neutral, neither right nor wrong.
But some people, especially weaker believers, did consider it to be wrong. And for those people, eating that meat would be wrong (Rom. 14:23). Paul’s concern is that if a weaker believer sees a more mature believer eating meat sacrificed to an idol, or participating in any other disputable matter, they might be tempted to participate as well. And it would be a sin for them, thus wounding their conscience. So Paul’s advice to the mature believer is to act in love and abstain from any activity you suspect will hurt someone else, leading them into sin.
Do Everything for the Glory of God
While this verse is directed specifically at the issue of disputable matters, I believe it has a much broader application. Paul tells me that whatever I do should be done for the glory of God. In most of what I do, I first evaluate the cost of the action and its benefit. This is not generally a long involved process. And sometimes, it is even unconscious. But it is something that generally happens nonetheless. What Paul adds here is another factor to consider. Does this action on my part glorify God? If it does not, then maybe I shouldn’t do it.
But that raises the question. How do I know if something glorifies God or not? For instance, when I go out for a run in the morning, is God glorified?
That can be hard to answer. But I try and imagine God being physically present with me in the activity; running down the road alongside me. Am I embarrassed to have him beside me? Or can I enjoy fellowship with him as we do this thing? If the former, I should not do it. If the latter, then I believe God is glorified. And I try and use that as a general rule in my life. Do only what I am comfortable doing hand in hand with Jesus.