Bulletin Article for July 23, 2023
“Whatever You Do”
Doy Moyer – c/o Vestavia church of Christ, Vestavia Hills, AL
Have you thought about the impact of the phrase “whatever you do”? It packs quite a punch because there is nothing left outside of its influence. Whatever we do, all the things that we do, should be done with the following in mind. For example:
“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1Corinthians 10:31).
In a context sensitive to both the liberties and the consciences of others, Paul sets the focus on God over self. God is the One to be glorified by our actions. Notice what Paul says (vv. 32-33): “Give no offense to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God, just as I try to please everyone in everything I do, not seeking my own advantage, but that of many, that they may be saved.”
Paul says, try to “give no offense.” In other words, try not to be the occasion for others to stumble (NIV: “Do not cause anyone to stumble”). We realize that people will stumble over the preaching of the gospel (1Corinthians 1-2), but by our focus and actions we might be glorifying self and in so doing become a stumbling block to others because we run roughshod over their faith and conscience.
Instead of ignoring the faith and conscience of others, seek to “please everyone in everything.” What does this mean? The idea is to be accommodative to the needs and interests of others. Take into account where others are in their consciences. This same idea is given in Philippians 2:4, “Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” Don’t be blind to the needs of others, but seek to elevate them, help them, encourage them, and be sensitive to where they are conscientiously. Put their needs before yours.
Paul modifies what he says: “not seeking my own advantage, but that of many, that they may be saved.” Instead of seeking our own selfish purposes, seek to become a bridge for others to be reconciled to God. Selfishness breeds contempt for God and others, but a mind intent on helping others in their fellowship with God will avoid seeking personal advantage. We want all to be saved.
While our liberties should not be judged by another’s conscience (v. 29), neither shall we use our liberties to run over others so that we are hurtful and become a cause for their fall. Seek their salvation. Seek to glorify God. Put aside selfish ambitions in whatever you do.
“Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father”
Paul had been speaking of being chosen by God and putting on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. We must learn to bear with one another and “put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.” We are to let the peace of Christ rule in our hearts because we have been called in one body. Thankfulness is part of who we are, and so we are to “Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God” (v. 16). Then, “whatever you do…”
The point is, again, to glorify the Lord Jesus in all our actions and words. There is nothing that this should not touch. As we take the name of our Lord, we do it with the thought in mind of giving Him thanks and glory.
“Whatever you do, do it from the heart, as something done for the Lord and not for people, knowing that you will receive the reward of an inheritance from the Lord. You serve the Lord Christ”
Paul says to work “from the heart.” This involves all of life — the heart, soul, and mind. This is how we are to love God and work for him. We are to give our all.
“For the Lord and not for people.” While we are to serve others through love, we realize that ultimately our work is for the Lord, even in our service of others. We are not to be so worried about making others happy that we neglect what we are doing for the Lord. He takes the first position in all we do, and He is the one who provides our inheritance, not people.
“You serve the Lord Christ.” This reiterates the point. If we can just remember that, in all we are doing, we serve the Lord, other things will fall into place. The practical aspect of this is to realize that when we drive, eat, go to work, involve ourselves in recreation, or whatever else we are doing, we are serving the Lord Christ. This is comprehensive, inclusive, and leaves nothing of our lives untouched.
Are you serving the Lord Christ today in whatever you are doing?