When you hear the phrase “Glory of God” what comes to mind?
Over the past couple days, we’ve talked a little bit about how the Christians in Corinth were arguing about eating meat from animals that had been sacrificed to idols. Some said that the idols were fake and so eating the meat was allowed. Others said the idols were real and so eating the meat was not allowed. They were waiting for the Apostle Paul to tell them if they should eat the meat or if they should not eat the meat. They wanted to know who is right and who is wrong?
Here’s his answer:
1 Corinthians 10:31. So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
Do all to the glory of God.
This is Paul’s answer for them. Eat or don’t eat, both are OK. Both are correct as long as they do it to the glory of God.
Can we eat the meat? Yes.
Can we avoid the meat? Yes.
As long as whatever you do is done for God’s glory.
But what does it mean to do something for God’s glory?
It means to do it from love for others. We glorify God when we love and care about other people. Look at the next couple verses that Paul wrote:
1 Corinthians 10:32-33. 32 Give no offense to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God, 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.
“Don’t offend others. Please everyone. Don’t seek your own advantage.”
Paul is telling us to put others first and do what is best for them. And when we put others first we are putting God first. We are glorifying God.
And this is exactly what Jesus did – he glorified the Father by putting us first. He died for us on the cross so that we wouldn’t be trapped in our sins forever. He gave up his freedom to make us free. Now we can give up what we want to do in order to make sure others don’t do what they don’t want to do. And when we live for others like Jesus did, we are living for God and his glorious love.
As you grow up you will see that not everything is life is “black and white,” or “right and wrong.” Some Christians might call something right, and other Christians might call it wrong. And that’s OK. And yes, there are some things that God clearly says are right and some things he clearly says are wrong. But there are many things that are up to each Christian to decide for themselves. But most important is love. Love would never ask another person to do something that they feel is wrong. Love will always put others first, just like Jesus did.
Because of Jesus we are free to make our own decisions on some things.
With Jesus we can always choose what is best for others first.
DO SOMETHING TOGETHER
Think through together some example of things that might be “right” for some but “wrong” for others. Have you encountered some things that other families do or don’t do that is different from your family? How can you still love this other family?
You gave up your freedom for us so that we could be free. Help me to be able to give up things for others so that they aren’t offended by what I do.
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