Question #1. Is God being glorified
Read 1 Corinthians 10:23-33
“Whether, then you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”
Navigating through the daily choices of life is a daunting task that is made even more challenging when we are continually bombarded with conflicting information and counsel. Everywhere we turn, we are told to act in certain ways, do specific things, believe in particular truths, or adopt popular morality. Our culture is divided, and the information we continually receive concerning choices to make is conflictive. How then do we make wise decisions when it seems as if there is no clear choice? This is what makes the questions we ask ourselves more critical. The more choices and options we are faced with, the more critical it is to ask the right questions. This week we will explore five critical questions we should ask in every decision we make.
The first question is the starting point for every decision. “Is God glorified in what I do?” In 1 Corinthians 10:23-33, Paul addresses the thorny question of whether it is proper for a Christian to eat meats offered to idols. While the question seems archaic to us, the principle behind the discussion is critical. In verses 14-22, Paul strongly condemns any association with idolatry and any participation in religious activities that undermine and contradict the worship of God and the worship of Christ. Participating or joining in the pagan religious activities with their sacrifices was to join in demonic worship.
Consequently, the people faced the critical question for Christians living in a world where idolatry was embraced and practiced by most people. In the Old Testament, the sacrificial system was an essential part of their worship. To express their fellowship with God, they would eat part of the sacrifice. This was important to symbolize their fidelity and relationship with God. This confronted the New Testament believers with a confusing problem. If eating the sacrificial meat in the Old Testament identified with God and involved worshipping God, then does eating meat sacrificed to an idol involve participating in demonic worship? Some believed it did, while others did not see such a connection.
Instead of trying to answer the question directly, Paul points us to a higher standard. The real issue is not about meat but our priority in life. The most crucial issue is our focus. Is it upon ourselves and what we desire, or is it upon God and bringing glory to him? There are many circumstances and issues with no clear Biblical direction but have moral implications. This goes to the very heart of what it means to be a follower of Jesus. It is no longer about our freedom or our desires. It is not about doing what we think is best for ourselves. Instead, we reorient our thinking and focus on bringing Christ glory and honor before others. Christ states in Mathew 5:16, “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” To bring glory to him is to be more concerned about his reputation than our own. It is to strive to live so that he is honored and people are drawn to him. Are our decisions based upon what gives us the most pleasure and fulfills our desires, or are they based on what would give God the most honor and point people to him?