1 Corinthians 10:31
“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.”
Pastors, youth leaders, teachers, and speakers are all looking for ways to connect with their audience. Depending on the variety in the congregation it can be difficult to connect with everyone at once. Some examples will spark interest in a select few. Different stories connect to different people. Some jokes are funny to some and puzzling to others. Crowds are all unique and each person comes with their own set of opinions and ideologies. What I have learned though is that no matter who might be in the room when I speak an easy go-to to connect quickly is FOOD. Everyone loves food! In fact, most of the time when you’re up in front of people speaking their stomach has probably already growled and more than likely they are already thinking about food. Its human nature. Food is an easy connector. Most people eat 3 to 4 if not 5 or 6 times a day!(Don’t hide, I know you be sneaking in them late nighters and inbetweeners.) I’m thankful God has created food and a variety of it!
In 1 Corinthians Paul is writing on this very subject! From chapter 8, to basically the Lord’s Supper in chapter 11, Paul writes a good portion about food! Paul wrote about food because it had become an issue amongst the brothers and sisters in Corinth. Today we have the big rivalry of Chic-fil-a vs Popeyes (if you can even call it a rivalry). But in Paul’s day the problem was food that was being offered to idols. Was it okay to eat meat that had been offered to idols? I mean it is just food, right? Well yes, it is food and Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 8:8 that “Food will not commend us to God. We are no worse off if we do not eat, and no better off if we do.” In 1 Cor 10:23 Paul says “All things are lawful…”. Though all things are lawful right after that he finishes his sentence with “…but not all things are helpful.” In 1 Cor 8:9 he says “take care that this right of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak.” Paul tells the church in Corinth to be aware of what they do around others. The last thing you want to do as a believer is to become a stumbling stone for someone else in their faith journey. In 1 Corinthians 10:27 Paul gives an example of when it is okay to eat whatever is in front of you, but he immediately says in v28 that if the thing you are eating has been specifically told to you that it WAS for an idol, then you should NOT eat it for the sake of that person’s conscience. So, was it wrong to eat all foods? No. But was it helpful? Did it build someone up in Christ?
The same mindset is to be had today amongst us as believers. Are there things in our lives that could possibly be hurting someone’s walk in and towards Christ? In chapter 9 Paul surrendered his rights so that he could become a servant to all (v9:19), becoming all things to all people, so that by all means he might save some (v9:22).
That’s what it was all about for Paul. Becoming a living sacrifice so that others would see salvation. He never wanted to become a distraction or get in the way of someone coming to know the LORD.
After talking about food, and idols, and surrendering rights, and becoming all things to all people, Paul wonderfully sums up chapter 10 with this, “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”
What a great way to sum up everything he just wrote. It’s like Paul is pulling up a chair to his friends in Corinth and saying, “Look fam, lets make it easy. If you’re eating food, or drinking, in fact lets make it easier, WHATEVER you do, do it all for the glory of God!”
This rings true for us today too! No matter what we are doing, we MUST do it to glorify God. To lift his name high. Everything in a Christian’s life should be to his glory alone and not ours.
Questions to Think on:
- What areas in my life are not glorifying God?
- If you started doing everything (even the small things) to glorify God, how might your life change? How might the lives of others around you change?