“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.” 1 Corinthians 10:31-33
The glory of God and the saving faith of others is to be foremost in our minds in all that we do. Whether we’re eating, drinking, working, worshiping, having a conversation, relaxing with family or friends, however it is we are spending our time and investing our energy, our mindset should be that of bringing our Holy God glory, honoring Him in all that we do, and acting always for the good of those around us.
A few verses earlier, Paul writes, “‘All things are lawful,’ but not all things are helpful. ‘All things are lawful,’ but not all things build up. Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor” (1 Corinthians 10:23-24). In Romans 15:1-2, he states, “We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up,” and in Philippians 2:3-4, “Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”
Our own interests, our own desires, our own good, are not to be the deciding factors in what we do. Down to the smallest detail, we are to be marked by humility. Our actions display our love and reverence for our Lord as well as our consideration and love for others. It’s difficult to maintain this focus in our world. A world where everyone has their eyes fixed on what would be good for them, and often will do whatever it takes to attain their goals.
Even now, focusing on the phrase, “count others more significant than yourselves,” I can feel a part of me buck in response. It’s so ingrained that I need to look out for myself first. But recognizing that prideful, self-centered tendency in my heart, it is at this point that I must determine what I will follow. Will I incline my heart to the Lord and set my eyes and my heart on Him rather than myself? Will I choose to lay down my pride and live in humility, making my Savior the example that I follow? Or will I bow to sinful human nature and decide to put myself first? The latter is easier…but it is defeat. And in Christ, I walk in victory. In my Lord, I have chosen to crucify that sinful nature and have been given the beautiful nature of Christ.
In this life we will continually be at war with our old nature. Humility will be a constant choice we must make. Love, selflessness, kindness, grace, forgiveness, self-control, joy—it is all a battle to maintain. It requires effort. It requires a daily taking up of our cross, willingly laying down our lives and our will at the altar of God our exceeding joy. It is hard to make this choice, but the Holy Spirit within us empowers us to do so. Our God is faithful. And as we seek His glory in all that we do, He will fill our days with His radiant light, and we will know that this difficult, narrow path contains a far greater treasure in Christ.