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Living to Please

By Hannah Suttle

Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.  1 Corinthians 10:31

I heard this verse a lot growing up, not just because it is a good principle, but because it is my dad’s life verse. I’ve always known and quoted it, but it has only been recently that the true meaning of it sunk in. I hope that as I explain how God has used this verse in my life it will also be a blessing and encouragement to you. 

Being in the ministry as a pastor’s wife, missionary’s wife, Christian school teacher, Sunday school teacher, teen leader, or truly any place of leadership, you often have to answer questions from others. Questions about why events are happening, how to solve problems, how to help relationships, or how to live a better Christian life. There is always an answer in the Bible for every question, but sometimes it can be overwhelming knowing that we are only human and won’t always know the answers to give people. 

In the age of people interpreting the Bible to fit their lifestyle, this becomes even more of a challenge.

I struggled with getting college aged girls to understand why it's so important to dress modestly, to come home in time for curfew, and to keep the room tidy. I struggled to convey the point that pushing rules goes beyond not understanding or simple disobedience. I struggled with getting kids in school to understand why it's so important to study well for tests and stay quiet and focused in class. It goes beyond having a good grade on your report card and not distracting someone else. I struggled with my own flesh to get up early enough to pray thirty minutes a day or continue soulwinning when nobody was answering the door. 

It was like a battle to continue being faithful when I felt like the investment I was making wasn’t making a difference in the areas I was striving to influence.

So I started asking the question: why am I doing what I’m doing on a daily basis? If it’s for any return of gratitude, recognition of ability, or accolade, then I’ve got it all wrong. Even working in the ministry with the expectation of seeing immediate fruit is wrong. Why are others doing what they do, and why are simple rules so hard to follow? When reading over this verse, it all started to click.

The answer was motive and purpose. 

My sole motive and purpose in all that I do should be to honor and to glorify God. This is not to say that other things aren’t important, but if my purpose is to glorify God, then everything else will fall into place. If I strive to honor the Lord then I will have a desire to pray more each day. If I strive to honor the Lord then I will continue to knock doors when it seems pointless because that glorifies the Lord. If girls are dressing to please God rather than just to follow rules then everything we wear will be above reproach. If kids are seeking to glorify God with their grades and behavior then the extra work in studying and improving behavior will be put forth.

If I seek to honor God with my music then the practice time I spend will be purposeful because I know the outcome of a joyful noise will be glorifying to the Lord. 

Our choir director said it well this past Sunday: “The purpose of our singing is to honor God, and the congregation is just there enjoying the byproduct of our worship to Him.” Oh, that we had this attitude in everything that we do! The purpose of my life is to glorify God. What follows after is just a byproduct. What if we started running that phrase as a filter over our life? Does what I’m about to do glorify God? If not, change it. Is what I’m thinking about glorify God? If not, change it. Is what I’m eating glorifying the temple God has given me? If not, change it. Does how I’m speaking to and treating people glorifying to God? Does the way I dress glorify God? If not, change it. Does the amount of time I spend with God in the morning glorify God? If not, change it.

If I could make the purpose of my life living to please my Savior and challenge others to do the same, how much it would revolutionize the way we live as Christians!


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