Eating and Drinking and Glorifying God
The Bible continually makes clear that all people worship and serve something. In the ancient world, this would oftentimes be a god or goddess made from wood, stone or precious metals. While some still choose to worship such figures, many in the Western world also worship idols, but they simply cannot be bothered to make a little figurine to represent what they worship. For instance, many spend their whole lives in pursuit of power, pleasure, fame, or fortune. How many people have we seen sacrificing their families, relationships, and health in order to gain one of these “gods”.
The Bible clearly teaches that worship is not the problem. Human beings, from a Christian point of view, were made with the ability and the necessity of worship. The problem with all human beings is that we always tend to worship things that will not and cannot ultimately satisfy. This is why Augustine said “our souls are restless until they find their rest in thee (God).” Because God created us to worship, he tells us that we will always be unsatisfied until we worship only him. That is why he tells Christians to “flee from idolatry” (I Cor 10:14). Not because he wants to keep something good from us, but because he knows that no idol will ultimately satisfy. The fact that God warns Christians against the danger of idolatry tells us that this is a constant struggle for all of life. At any one moment, we are either worshipping God (the Creator) or some other created things or pleasure.
But this chapter ends by saying that “whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (I Cor 10:31). Paul’s point is that food and the pleasures of the world are often not bad in and of themselves, they are a gift from God ultimately, but they are not an end in and of themselves. Only when all pleasures are placed under our ultimate allegiance to the God who made us will we truly understand our purpose and design.
Only then will our longings be fulfilled. God has given an amazing world with many things to be enjoyed and he has given us desires that can be satisfied, but any time we make a created desire an ultimate desire, we will be frustrated. Sex is a beautiful gift, but when that becomes mankind’s god, it will never ultimately satisfy. Much benefit can be derived from having money, but when money becomes our ultimate aim, we are never fully satisfied with how much we have. We are always left wanting more. But when God becomes the thing we worship most, he can fill the desire because he is infinite and never runs out. Also, he created us for that purpose so that is when we will live as we were intended.