The concept of “glorifying” God is that of honoring God with one’s life. First Corinthians 10:31 teaches believers to honor the Lord in all they do: “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” The context of this verse includes a discussion of the freedom believers have in Christ. We are free to make personal choices in life, but we are not to do anything that causes another person to “stumble” or sin in his own walk with God. We are to seek the good of others (1 Corinthians 10:32–33).
Further, believers may have the “right” to do anything, but not everything is beneficial (1 Corinthians 10:23). Paul used the illustration of eating meat that had been dedicated to idols. To him, such a dedication meant nothing since idols are not real gods. However, he would abstain from ever eating meat again for the good of others who might sin by following his example. Believers serve the Lord both through their personal lives and in their actions toward others.
To glorify God requires full commitment to Him. In Colossians 3:23 we read, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord.” The context includes Paul’s directions for Christian slaves working for human masters. Even in this role, their work was to be done as if they were serving Jesus (Colossians 3:24). To honor or glorify God in everything includes having a strong work ethic, even when we work for those we do not like or labor in difficult situations.
Glorifying God in everything means we honor Him in our thoughts and actions. Our thoughts are to be set on the things of God (Psalm 1) and the Word of God (Psalm 119:11). When we focus on God’s Word, we know what is right and can follow through with doing what is right.
Jesus always glorified His Father in heaven. There was never a moment when He did not glorify God. Our Lord’s every thought, word, and action was totally devoted to the glory of God. When Jesus faced the temptations of Satan (Matthew 4:1–11), Jesus quoted Scripture all three times. Jesus was a man of the Word, fully committed to God’s will, and His example in overcoming temptation offers hope to all of us who seek to stand firm during times of testing.
Another way we glorify God in everything we do is in the proper treatment of our bodies. In speaking of sexual immorality, 1 Corinthians 6:19–20 teaches, “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.”
To glorify God in everything, we must exercise faith (Hebrews 11:6), love without hypocrisy (Romans 12:9), deny ourselves (Luke 9:23), be filled with the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18), and offer ourselves as “living sacrifices” to God (Romans 12:1). Every area of life is important to evaluate and live to its fullest for the glory and honor of God. We should strive for every thought and deed to bring joy to our Father in heaven.