I last posted this over a year ago, but I was thinking again about the topic yesterday – and it’s something I think we need to consider a lot more often. And this may be perfect for some of you as you plan Spring Quarter, Summer, or Fall teaching series!
How often do we show our students how to apply the Bible and the Gospel in their actual everyday existence? 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 final summing-up of I Corinthians 10 is honestly a little unnatural. The whole chapter has been, to this point, a deep theological discussion that dives into complex places (discussions modern, freedom-loving Christians aren’t too comfortable with). The chapter reveals a hard, very specific way to love others (temporarily setting aside our Christ-given freedoms for the sake of our witness).
So it might have been expected for Paul to close out the chapter with a summing-up statement: “And that’s one big way to love others: laying down our own freedom for their sake.” That would have captured the essence of the passage.
Instead, Paul decides to take things a step further. Instead of summing up, he reveals that this (watching what we eat or drink when it affects others) is just ONE of the crazy ways that we get to glorify God:
“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”
How often do we actually teach students how to live out this command? 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, the topic of eating.
What about the other areas of our lives?
Personally, I’d rather have college students who have truly given Christ Lordship over their eating, their driving, or their stewardship of time, than ones who are trained in apologetics or can quote large sections of Scripture. (Though of course, it’s great if all these things are true!)
Have you taught your collegians to glorify God in their
- Time Management
- Co-existence with roommates
- Co-existence with classmates
- Casual (and other) Conversation
- 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 just realize what this Lordship thing is all about… and just how deeply abundant life can flow within their lives!