Sunday, February 20, 2005


Whatever you do

As I mentioned in a previous article, one of the first spiritual trials I underwent as a new Christian was all in my head: was I willing to serve God as a missionary, even in deepest Africa? The notion was a rather frightening one to me at that time, but in the end I was able to truthfully confess that I was willing to serve God in that capacity if it was his will.

However, as it turned out, it hasn't been God's will (so far) for me to serve him in such a capacity. Instead, I've continued on in secular work, first as a college instructor, later as a computer programmer. I enjoy what I do very much, but it's not particularly "spiritual" work. I doubt that I've saved any souls by virtue of fixing a broken computer program, and I've not even managed to convert anyone from Windows to Linux by preaching a fervent sermon.

But is it really true that I'm not doing "spiritual" work? I'm not doing what's generally considered to be "ministry" work on even a part-time basis, but does this imply that I'm not glorifying and honoring God? No, not if I take the Scriptures at their word. Take for instance 1 Corinthians 10:31:

Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

I don't know about you, but I enjoy eating and drinking, especially if the bill of fare is pleasant to taste. However, I wouldn't say that eating and drinking is particularly "spiritual". In fact, I eat and drink mainly in order to sustain my body, the same body that will one day return to the dust from whence it came. Also, the other things I do from day to day aren't super-spiritual either: working, reading, shopping, sleeping, etc.. So, am I glorifying God in doing these things, or must I quit my job, go off to seminary, and go into the full-time ministry?

No, there's no need for me to go into full-time ministry, or wait until this or that circumstance changes in my life, in order to glorify God. As a matter of fact, God has charged me to glorify and honor him in every aspect of my life, to do so today. If I work, I ought to work as unto the Lord. If I eat or drink, I do so unto the the Lord. If I read a book, watch a movie, or listen to music, I do so unto the Lord. Whatever I do, I do to the glory of God.

So, what are we do make of all this? Certainly not that full-time ministry is dishonorable to God; quite the contrary! Thank God for faithful ministers of the Word; they are true gifts from God! Instead, we ought to realize that whatever you and I are doing now can and ought to be done for the glory of God. We ought to glorify God in the calling in which we find ourselves today and need not--nay, must not!--wait until tomorrow. This is not to say that it is wrong to pursue change, improvement, or growth in our lives. As a single man, I hope that God will soon give me a suitable wife, but in the meantime I am free to glorify God in my singleness. You may have a desire to teach Sunday School, write hymns, preach the Gospel in your town or in faraway places. If so, by all means pursue that desire as God gives you leave to do so, but you ought not wait to glorify him until you attain your goal. Your present station and calling may be low and mundane, but it is God's will that you do whatever you do to his glory. This is your privilege, so take care that you live according to it while it is still called today!

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