Jesus in Matthew 6:33 told us to ‘seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.’ Although the context is about anxiety of what tomorrow may bring, the admonition is still true in all areas of life. Apostle Paul also exhorts in 1 Corinthians 10:31 that ‘whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.’ Again, Paul was addressing the question of whether one can eat food that is already sacrificed to idols. However, the exhortation is still true in ‘whatever you do.’ With this, as Christians, we have to always ask the question whether our conduct glorifies God. However, I would also encourage us to ask a better question: “How do I glorify God with my …(fill in the blank)?”
As Christians, it is quite natural that when we think of what glorifies God, things like prayer, quiet time, going to church, being kind to others, loving others, and sacrificial giving are among the first things that come to mind. Or at least, I hope they are. Unfortunately though, the question “What does glorify God?” may be the one question that leads us into compartmentalization of life. We answer that question with good things that do indeed glorify God. We do make sure we do those things, which is great. However, we then live our lives knowing and being convinced that once we do those things, we don’t have to worry so much about other arenas of life as long as we don’t hurt other people. We might not think that way perhaps. But if we don’t ask the question “How do I glorify God with my …?” chances are our quiet time, our prayer, our giving, they are all for God, but my eating, drinking, cooking, watching TV, playing, writing, typing, studying and many other activities are not consciously for God. We live a compartmentalized life, whether we realise it or not. So, I am inviting us to really take time to consciously ponder this question.
I am currently a pastor for International Student Ministry at my church. There are perhaps three big areas of a student’s life that many fail to ask the question above. It’s the area of their study, their friendship, and their relationship. I have discussed the area of study in a past post series. In this series, I will discuss relationships. Perhaps I will tackle friendship some other time.
Now, when dealing with the topic of relationship, what would come to your mind when you ask yourself that question. I have a gut feeling that many would answer something along this line: we glorify God with our relationship by keeping it holy and pure, which usually means sexually pure. Or at least it is among the first that come to our mind. There is nothing wrong with that. In fact, keeping oneself sexually pure in this sexually-saturated society is very glorifying to God. However, there are many other aspects of our relationships that we should keep holy (aka. set apart) as well. Thinking about this matter well before you decide to jump into a relationship would really be helpful in the way you approach relationship, navigate your feeling especially when you meet that stunning lad or that lovely girl, and lead yourself through your future relationship. So, in the next few posts, I will offer a few points that may help us glorify God in our relationship. In the mean time, I would appreciate if you could share what comes to your mind or an aspect that you would like to see discussed in this series.