“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”
(1 Corinthians 10:31 (ESV))
I hope you have enjoyed the Olympics these past two weeks as much as my family has. It is such a joy to be able to watch these athletes compete at the top of their sport – from Michael Phelps becoming the most decorated athlete ever, to the Women’s Gymnastics team getting gold and Gabby Douglas winning the All-Around, Usain Bolt winning the both 100 and 200 for the second time, and even the inspiring stories of Oscar Pistorius (the double amputee running in the 400m) and Kirani James (the 18 year old who won the 400m, giving Granada their first Olympic medal).
One of the things that I have really enjoyed is hearing the athletes give glory and praise to God when they are interviewed. Athlete after athlete would begin their response with, “I just want to give God the glory…” or “I am so thankful to God for the opportunity…” It has become so common that it is more noticeable when a person does not give praise to God during their interview. Particularly interesting was the celebration of Will Claye after winning the bronze medal in the Long Jump, holding the American flag behind him, as is popular today, with his Bible in his right hand. That made me sit up and take notice.
One thing I would like to see, however, is something that doesn’t happen too often. What would it say if those who came in 4th, or finished dead last in their field, also gave glory to God? Were they not also blessed by God just to be there, grateful for the opportunity to compete. Would they not have an even more compelling witness if in the midst of defeat they could testify that God is good and deserves all the glory? Or is God only glorified when we are successful and winning the praise of millions of spectators?
Friends, you may never be on the kind of stage that these Olympic competitors are on this week, you may never win the spotlight and have the opportunity to say to Bob Costas, “I just want to give God all the glory…” But that doesn’t mean that you can’t still give God the glory. No one saw me (thankfully) on my run this morning, so there were no crowds to cheer me on, but during my run I was laying before God the cares of my day and seeking His mercy and grace to give me strength; may God be glorified in my run. Today at work you may not have closed the big deal for the company or accomplished every goal you set for the week, but if you served the Lord with all your heart and put in a honest day’s work, God is glorified in your labor. If you’ve found yourself at home with piles of laundry and layers of dust but have shown your love for the Lord in providing for your spouse and children a loving and grace-filled home, then God is glorified in what you have done.
What would the conversations around the dinner table be like if when someone asked, “Honey, how was your day?” you responded by saying, “You know, I just give glory to God for the opportunity to do what I do.” Whether your first, last, or somewhere in the middle, let us do all things for the glory of God!