31 Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
1 Cor 10:31
The things you are doing or not doing: are they "for the glory of God"? In the previous verses ( 1Cor 10) Paul has just finished explaining that whether you eat certain meats or don't is a matter of personal conscience. He did not say, " eating meat is always wrong" or " eating meat is the right thing to do for everyone". No, he leaves it between the individual person and God. Why? Can not all actions be considered either good or bad? Is not every right and wrong a universal code for all believers and humanity to follow? I believe Paul clearly answers these questions, and this answer not only changed his own actions, but the way he viewed other peoples actions.
In the above verse Paul clearly leaves the choice of whether to do something or not up to the individual, but under one very important condition. Whatever you do, it must be glorifying to God. When an observer witnesses you doing something do they think to themselves " wow, what that person is doing or not doing makes me want to know his God"? Or do they say " that person has so many CONVICTIONS, to know their God I would have to do that ? ".
I believe that sometimes what we do can push us away from those we should be trying to reach. When we look or act in such a very different way than those around us, the first thing they are thinking is "weirdo", "crazy", "Jesus freak". This can't be right. Now, I'm not saying we should do or not do something based on what others may think of us. Again, we are talking about "the grey things" (TGT). These issues are not black and white in scripture. They are the eating or drinking. To often I believe we ruin our witness for Christ by being too different than those around us.
Jesus message and that of his disciples (of who we are) was one of hope. Constantly throughout the scriptures Jesus said " The Kingdom of heaven is at hand". That was HIS mission, to bring everyone into the simple relationship with God. In everything he did and said he glorified God. Does it bring glory to God when we make others feel that if they are not doing EXACTLY what we do they are sinning? I don't think so. I think that today, to many Christians are stuck fighting about TGT instead of spreading the good news about the kingdom of God. As a final note consider this, when others look at us, do they see a citizen of heaven or do they see a wall of grey things standing between them and you. Between them and God ?
Feel free to comment, as in all things I want to challenge myself in my beliefs. If you feel contrary please help me to see the error in my ways.