Of course, she does, she’s five! Let me back up a second.
The other night as I was putting her to bed, she asked one of the questions in theology:
“Daddy, why did God make us?”
As I was asked to write a piece on Soli Deo Gloria (glory to God alone), my brain started thinking about how I could convey to a little girl the idea of God’s glory being the ultimate desire and design for humanity.
In the end, I gave her a simple version of the Westminster Catechism, “Baby girl, God made everyone to glorify and worship him.”
“No, Daddy, he made us to love each other and to be nice.”
Yeah, she wasn’t picking up what I was putting down. I’ll try again next year. But I wasn’t wrong. We are so that we can give God glory. It’s like the apostle Paul says in 1 Corinthians 10:31 ~
“Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”
Paul says this at the end of talking about the controversial topic of eating food that had been offered to idols. Not as big an issue for Western Christians in the 21st Century, but it was for Paul and the early church. But ultimately Paul called people to follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit and one’s individual conscience with the idea that Christian liberty allows us a wide range of activities…with one caveat—
Do everything to the glory of God!
And this is where we often come up short. Sure there are some areas we surrender and do to God’s glory. Other times, if we’re totally honest, our behavior does not glorify God. And a key point of the Reformation is not just that everything we do is for God’s glory, but that everything we do is only for God’s glory. No one else is on equal footing. God alone should be the motivator of our thoughts and actions.
If we started to view our days through the lens of Soli Deo Gloria we’d probably change and question a lot of what we do.
Should I really post that on social media? Does it bring glory to God?
Should I really pass on this story about Jake that I heard from Sarah? Does it bring glory to God?
Should I really talk to my wife and kids like this? Does it bring glory to God?
An honest assessment shows us coming up short. Not only do we put other things before or equal to God, but even when it’s God alone our behavior doesn’t daily live for his glory.
Kind of depressing, actually, to think of how often I miss the mark here. Thank God for his grace.
Chris Linzey is husband to Tené, father to the three most beautiful children in the world, a Navy Chaplain, and a movie enthusiast. Chris loves people and has a deep desire to help them live lives of faith where the Bible is more than mere words on a page, but the way we live every day. His undergrad and Master’s studies were in Biblical Studies, and he focused on the New Testament (his mentor was a Gospel of Mark scholar). He received an additional Master's degree, Master of Divinity (MDiv), in Pastoral Preaching.