So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. --I Corinthians 10:31
What do you suppose it might look like to eat or drink to the glory of God? We're commanded to do so right there in Scripture, so it seems like a concept worth figuring out. Could it be that God designed food to do so much more than fuel our bodies? Could it be that maybe He wants us to actually enjoy food? Let's break this down a bit:
One definition of the word glory is "adoring praise or worshipful thanksgiving; a state of absolute happiness, gratification, contentment."
Simply put, if we eat and drink, we're to do it as an act of adoring praise or worshipful thanksgiving to God.
Or, if you prefer, let's look at that second phrase, that stuff about "absolute happiness." At first glance, what I'd love to do is apply that to me and say that as long as I am absolutely happy and content while I'm eating, I'm in full obedience. I so wish that's what that meant! Bring me all of the chocolate, some crispy bacon, and a loaf of rosemary bread with every meal. The Bible says! I'm soooo happy and super content!
Unfortunately, and contrary to my hearty appetite, I don't think that's what it means at all. Let's look at it again, guided by the biblical text: "...to the glory (absolute happiness) of God." Ohhh. Not my absolute happiness. God's. Ok.
How do I eat and drink in such a way that makes God happy?
I think we start by going back to that first definition. With "adoring praise or worshipful thanksgiving." Grateful to God for the gift of food and the ways he so lavishly provides so much of it in such creative ways. (Eventually I want to explore that entire topic in much greater detail, but that's a discussion for a different day.) For now, let's stay with this idea.
So we're eating and drinking thankfully and worshipfully, grateful to God for his provision. How might we make God happy with the way(s) we eat? What makes God happy? Our obedience, right? Our hearts. Our desire to honor him. Part of that is certainly expressing our thanksgiving to Him for the good gifts He gives us, but I think we should carry that a step further as well to consider his commands about how we care for our bodies, His temple. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 says, "...do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body."
Ok. So if we are to make God happy with the way we eat and drink, smart decisions about what we eat and drink certainly play an important role. We are commanded to take care of our bodies as temples that don't even belong to us. That's something to consider.
If we combine those thoughts, we land pretty much right in the middle of a broad spectrum of approaches to food. On one end, joyless consumption of only the most essential nutrients to keep our bodies fueled. On the other end, gleefully gluttonous indulgence. Somewhere in the middle lies obedient and responsible but joyful consumption of delicious foods that are useful to our bodies and help us care for them in ways that please God. I think that can look just a little bit different for everyone, but we should all land somewhere in that middle ground, where we are worshiping God through our choices and enjoying them to His glory.
What particular ways do you eat and drink to the glory of God?