Dinner and Devotions

As we think about how God wants us to honor Him in His image, the opportunities are surprisingly practical. In 1 Corinthians 10 Paul makes a series of arguments based on the fact that “the earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof.” One result is that we can eat with unbelievers without worrying which gods they sacrifice to and, in our day, that applies even to the twin gods named Green and Gluten-free. We don’t need to ask questions about sustainable farming practices and fair-trade prices when we’re having dinner with our neighbor. Eat, enjoy, and don’t worry for sake of conscience. If you can partake with thankfulness, why should you be denounced because of that for which you give thanks?

The well-known conclusion Paul makes after the above is, “So, whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31). A body that hungers and thirsts, lips that can sip and teeth that can chew and tongues that can taste, food and drink themselves, are not only God’s ideas, they are God’s ideas about how He wants us to glorify Him. He made the things, and He made them means by which to honor His name.

How we do dinner is as important as how we do devotions. We aren’t necessarily glorifying God in doing devotions because it is a “spiritual” act any more than we necessarily can’t glorify Him in dinner because it is an “earthly” act. Which is better? Devotions done in the flesh (to honor you and how much you know and how disciplined you are) or dinner done in gratitude? Duh.

Let us not be more spiritual than God. Let us not decide for ourselves what glorifies Him. We don’t obligate Him by doing more of the activities that we think are Christian especially if we ignore the rest of what He says, including “whether you eat or drink.” And let us not grow weary in doing good. Once we realize that anything lawful could glorify Him, even our daily dinner, we may be tempted to be overwhelmed that there is so much. Do what you can, with the food on your table and the person sitting next to you.