Posted in: Leadership
A Life For God
By Steve Timmis, Acts 29 Western Europe Director
Character often gets overlooked, but it is the key issue in Christian ministry. Although more emphasis is placed on charisma or gifting, character is the key issue in leadership.
Every aspect of my life is to be lived for God’s glory
1 Corinthians 10:31: “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”
At first reading, this principle may appear something of a no-brainer. However, if taken seriously, we will find that no other principle is quite so counter-cultural and counter-intuitive as this one. This principle defines ‘me’ in relation to ‘Him’. It says that ‘me’ and my life is all about ‘Him.’ It is only about ‘me’ to the extent and degree that I relate to ‘Him.’ Even though the gospel assures me that there is no better place to be, my ego kicks and screams for self-identity.
What is radical about this truth is that it contradicts everything we’ve been taught, and everything we’ve wanted to believe. I am the center of my universe, and see everything and everyone from my perspective. So, my instinct, if I think about God at all, it is to think of and define ‘Him’ in relation to ‘me.’ For example, God is love if he expresses it in ways acceptable to me. In essence, God is put on trial every day for His alleged failures in ‘my’ life.
If my life is to be lived for His glory, then I no longer occupy that defining place of sovereign rule in my life. He does. If my life is all about His glory, then that becomes the great, unchangeable principle against which everything—good or bad—is assessed.
So what does it mean for God to be glorified by my life?
It means that the person I am, the life that I live, and the things I do, all convey God to others. It means I am a trophy of His grace: there is no other explanation for who I am and how I live except the sovereign and supernatural work of the triune God. A life lived for God’s glory is truly an extraordinary life.
Imagine the moment of your arrival in heaven. All the saints and angels are lined up to welcome you as you walk through the gates. The noise is deafening and the sense of coming home is almost too much to bear. You expected to be honored for your accomplishments, your charitable life and your ministry. You think they are there for you, and in a sense they are. But then you realize that no one is congratulating you. All the cheers are for God! All the praise is directed at Him for his magnificent work of grace taking a broken specimen of humanity and transforming it into a stunning and breath-taking creation. Just as no one stands in a gallery and praises the canvas or the frame, and says ‘What a fine work of art you are!’ so no one in heaven will look at the us and praise the creation for what a fine job the creator did. It is the artist who is applauded, as it is God who is praised.
To What Extent Does This Apply?
Not only should every aspect of my life be lived for the glory of God, I should live my life with a radical and determined intentionality that ensures that every aspect of it honors the God who made me, saved me and created me to the praise of His glorious grace. All too often our actions and words are thoughtless of God. There needs to be a “glory intentionality” in everything we do and say. That would have a massive impact upon us and upon those we minister.
© 2009 Steve Timmis and Tim Chester/The Good Book Company. Used by permission.
Gospel Centred Life can be purchased online.