So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31, NLT
“For the glory of God” What does that mean? It’s challenging to describe “glorifying God” in a simple-to-understand way! Over the years I have sat with hundreds of believers – some baby Christians, others mature Christians – and every one of them have struggled to answer this question: “What are some specific actions, words, or thoughts that will glorify God in the context of your present relationships?”
Most of them just stare, especially when they are in conflict. Often they begin with, “Well, I guess I can honor God with my actions or words.” I answer, “That’s great! So what’s an example of something you could do or say that would honor God?” Then they look puzzled . . . probably a little blinded by their conflict. They really want to give a biblical answer, but are struggling to come up with one.
Most of the time it’s easier for us to describe the opposite of glorifying God, so I ask, “What does it mean NOT to glorify God in a conflict?” Most of them can quickly give me answers like these:
How NOT to glorify God
- Gossip about the other person
- Be mean to the other person
- Verbally attack the other person
- Slander the other person
- Wish the other person were dead
- Harm the other person
- Persecute the other person
Then it’s natural for me to ask, “Now, think about the opposites of each of those NOT-glorifying behaviors.”
Ways to glorify God
- KINDNESS instead of meanness
- WORDS OF GRACE instead of verbally attacking
- DIRECT COMMUNICATION instead of gossip
- PRAISE instead of slander
- LIFE instead of death
- HELP instead of harm
- BLESSING instead of persecution
When the person has considered the list above, I get to tell them about these Bible verses that call us to each of these glorifying God actions
- Kindness – Ephesians 4:32
- Words of grace – Ephesians 4:29
- Direct communication – Matthew 18:15
- Praise – Romans 12:14
- Life – Matthew 5:44
- Blessing – 1 Peter 3:9
THE PEACEMAKER BY KEN SANDE
Ken Sande’s book The Peacemaker does an amazing job of walking us through how to glorify God in the midst of conflict. I highly recommend this book to you. One of my favorite parts of the book is Chapter 3, which is extremely helpful for dealing with this.
Ken describes God as both being good and doing good. These truths are critical to our response to a conflict. If you think God is bad sometimes and that in this conflict he is withholding his goodness from you, you’ll act and react in a negative, sinful way that dishonors God. However, if you believe what God’s Word says – that he is sovereign and good even in times like these – your words and actions will glorify God. You will bring him honor.
So let’s decide together that God is good and He is worth glorifying.
P. Brian Noble