eating well and other obedience (a fridea)

I first posted this Fridea a few semesters ago, but it ties in well to Tuesday’s post. In the series “Topics Worth the Tussle,” I wrote about addressing a theology of enjoying life well. If you didn’t get a chance to read it, check it out here. And if you need tips along these lines, keep reading today’s Fridea…

What if 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)

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.”

But how often do we actually teach students how to do that? I can’t remember ever hearing an “eating-to-the-glory-of-God” message in church or any other ministry. Even though that one thing takes up hours of my week. Even though there’s 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 provided biblical wisdom and wise counsel about

  • Eating
  • Sleeping
  • 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 of verses and wisdom on your college blog? A message 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. Right?

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

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5 Comments

  1. My husband and I led a year long small group surrounding this very thing– it was a great group and has left all of us changed people. We still talk about our discussions, even to this day– and it’s been 7 or 8 years! Good stuff, lots of think about.

  2. That’s awesome, Tiffany! What exactly was the group about? Was the “curriculum” all planned by you guys, or did you have any particular books, etc., that helped? I’d love to hear more about this, either here or in a message!

  3. Hey Benson! We created the curriculum by putting together some of our own thoughts and ideas, and then we added some other books to reference- foster’s celebration of discipline, john piper’s don’t waste your life, and some others. we would have 5-10 questions for everyone to study/work on throughout the week, and then come together and discuss everyone’s ideas. if you want, i can send you some of our stuff. jake and i have actually been talking about reworking it a bit and trying to publish it!

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