So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. (ESV)
So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. (NIV)
So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. (NLT)
The Food Trade-Off
Have you ever been to a buffet? I know the answer to this question might be divided based on your opinion on these food establishments, but hang with me. When you go to a buffet, what are the reasons? If we are completely honest with ourselves, it’s probably not because the quality of food is top-notch or because we feel so good afterward; more than likely, the reason we go is to eat as many different types of food as fast as possible. We want to go to a place where we can eat fried chicken, pizza, and soft-serve ice cream all in one sitting. We want to feast on all the things we can possibly fit on one plate, and then we want to go back for another, and maybe even another, not to mention the fact that we don’t even have to wait to order or have the food cooked! We love buffets because we can go from a favorite food to a favorite food, picking what we want and leaving what we don’t.
Now compare this to your favorite home-cooked meal. You know, that one that only your mom can make? The one that she preps for hours in advance. The one that she made specifically for you because she knows just how you like it. Consider this meal in comparison to the buffet. Consider what it's like to sit down with your mom, who made it for you. What does it mean to know the person who prepared the food and put in the effort because they love you? Anyone can go to a buffet, but only one person can make that favorite home-cooked meal for you just the way you like it. So if I’m to guess, that meal means much more to you.
A Culture of Highs
We live in a culture that is searching for all the highs in life. What’s the next party? When’s the next big game? When does the amusement park open? What’s happening downtown this weekend? You could argue we have access to “highs” more now than ever, yet depression and anxiety are rising among Millenials and Gen Z. Why is this? Well, that is a big question to get into that takes up more than just this devo, but to name one response, we don’t connect the gift to the giver.
The buffet gives us everything we want in one meal: a ton of food, quickly and for cheap, but it doesn’t leave us with deep joy. Living from high to high leaves us empty when we don’t recognize the giver of the gifts. On the contrary, the home-cooked meal is so meaningful because we connect with the person who cooked it for us. We have a long, deep relationship established with the maker, who, in this example, happens to be our mom. She loves us, and we know this act of cooking is an expression of her love.
The Giver > The Gift
This week’s verse found in 1 Corinthians 10:31 is all about doing the ordinary things we already do with extraordinary vision. Paul, in his letter to the Corinthians, specifically addressed how to handle food with people who held different worldviews on the cleanliness of certain foods and what to do with the foods offered to idols. As this isn’t often what we specifically experience today in our culture, we wanted to zoom in on doing ALL things to the glory of God.
When we go from high to high, never really pausing to recognize God gave us food and drink to enjoy, we settle for the gift itself that doesn’t satisfy us in the end. At some point, when we eat, we get full. We physically can’t take another bite, and that's the problem when we direct our worship to things that can reach an end. But when we can see beyond the gift to the giver of all things, we will never reach the end.
Tyler Staton says this, “The way that we live fullest is not through the unrestrained gratification of all of our bodily desire, and it’s not through the legalistic renunciation of all of our bodily desire, but by the proper redirecting of all of our bodily desire.”
This is powerful. When we can recognize true life isn’t found when we only overindulge and fill our bodies with everything they desire or only fast and have an unhealthy level of denial from foods, we can see that in all things, we are called to redirect our desires to the God who created us. God is the one we are called to love with our hearts, minds, souls, and strength (Mark 12:30), so whether you are feasting or fasting, do it to the glory of God. Find your ultimate joy in the giver of all things. Don’t settle for the mere gifts themselves. They will pass, but God is eternal.
Written by Ben Hesch
Schedule a time in the next month to hold a feast to the glory of God! Bring together your community and prepare a feast together to celebrate what God has done and what he is currently doing. Make Him the center of your gathering and stir your joy together for Him as a community.