teach the common beauty (a fridea)

What if, on occasion, we taught our students how to make really, really common things God-glorious? That’s this week’s Fridea: teaching our students to live beautifully within the natural, daily elements of their lives.

I Corinthians 10:31 is of course a key verse here:

“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” (ESV)

But how often do we actually teach students how to do that? I can’t remember ever hearing an “eating” message in church or any other ministry – even though that one thing takes up hours of my week, and even though I can quickly think of plenty of biblical wisdom on, or connected to, that topic.

If that “common” task is brought under the reign of Christ, might it trigger other forms of obedience to the command to “in all your ways acknowledge Him”?

What if we occasionally brought biblical wisdom and wise counsel to bear on

  • Eating
  • Sleeping
  • Studying (not just academics – though that’s important, too – but the act of simply studying)
  • Time Management
  • Personal “Beautification” / “Grooming”
  • Casual (and other) Conversation
  • Multi-tasking
  • Driving
  • Clothing
  • Planning
  • Social Event-attending
  • and other “common” events in the life of an American college student?

A teaching series? Small group topic? One-on-one discipleship material? “Position papers” available to your students? A database on your college blog? A series you advertise to the campus at large?

If, on the other hand, we (accidentally) teach students that biblical truth, prayer, and the counsel of wise Christians are only pertinent to BIG theological questions and BIG life choices, then we can’t complain much about segmentation or cafeteria-style Christianity.

But provide a Theology of Party Attendance or a Theology of Sleep, and your tribe might better realize how God requires we acknowledge Him – and find out how deeply abundant life can go.

Paul’s summing-up of I Corinthians 10 is honestly a little unnatural. The whole chapter is a deep theological discussion that dives into complex places (places modern, freedom-loving Christians aren’t too comfortable with). It reveals a hard, very specific way to love others. So he could have summed up only with, “And that’s how much we’re called to love others – even laying down our very freedom to do so.” Instead, Paul reveals, “That’s just ONE of the crazy ways that we get to glorify God in the day-to-day, common aspects of our lives.”

So maybe we can help our students find the other ways, too.

Find synopses of all the Frideas – somewhat crazy little campus ministry methods that might be worth a shot – over here.

written from Barstow, CA

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Road Trip 13: Day 19 recap
finished my time in SoCal, including seeing campus #12 (Biola University) and some great conversations! (see all explorations so far)
T-shirt: the Wolverine tribe of Michigan
today: very possibly visiting both Nevada and Utah, with campus explorations

3 Comments

  1. A must read for this topic is the classic work by the 17th century monk, Brother Lawrence, Practicing His Presence, which is a very practical and accessible look at continually seeing Jesus in all the daily routines of life.

  2. Good point. I think in a roundabout way Romans 12:1 teaches the same thing – that all of life is worship. It’s interesting that you would mention never hearing a “food” sermon, because (as you rightly point out) the Bible does have a lot to say about it! I don’t really remember ever hearing one either.

    I have preached an entire message to college students before about sleep =)

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