How do we live to glorify God? Preachers, Bible teachers, and authors continually tell us our lives should glorify God. But how do we do that? I think anyone who has a sincere love for Christ desires to glorify Him. We want to make Him known to the world. Still, “glorifying” Him seems elusive. It’s a strange word, and one rarely used in common conversation.
To glorify God is a high calling. The Westminster Shorter Catechism states, “Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.” Bringing glory to God must be the primary focus of our lives. God created us to glorify Him. To do anything less with our lives is to live outside of God’s Will.
We don’t often think in terms of living to glorify anything. But we glorify people and things every day of our lives. To glorify something or someone means to praise, magnify, or ascribe honor to it or them. We glorify celebrities by making sure we pay for their latest movie or musical offering. We glorify ourselves when we boast or draw attention to our achievements. It’s possible to glorify food, entertainment, careers, education, and just about anything in life. When we promote something, we are glorifying it.
When we live to glorify God, we live to direct attention to Jesus. Everything we do should point people to Him, not to ourselves. When we receive praise, we redirect it to God who gives us the ability to do what we do. Whatever ideas or talents we have are because of Christ. We are absolutely nothing without Him. There is nothing good within us that wasn’t put there by God. We cannot live without His mercy. Our capacity for love, compassion, and good works are all instilled in us by the Father.
Paul writes that whatever we do, we should do it to the glory of God (Colossians 3:17). Nothing in our lives should be about ourselves. When we make plans, it should be with God in mind. Always ask how what you are about to do will praise, magnify, or ascribe honor to God. If you can’t answer that, then what you are about to do probably isn’t worth doing. If you want to live to glorify God, you must play the long game. The short game is for those who seek to bring honor and praise to themselves. It’s nice while it lasts, but it ends in disaster. Those who live with eternity in mind do everything to the glory of Christ our King.
Deuteronomy 11:1 says, “Therefore, love the Lord your God and always keep His mandate and His statutes, ordinances, and commands.” This is how we live to glorify God. Obey Him to show your love for Him (John 14:15). Walk in the way He commands us to walk. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind (Mark 12:28-31). Love your neighbor as yourself (Mark 12:28-31). Care for the orphans and widows, and keep yourself from sin (James 1:27). Feed the hungry, care for the sick, and remember those in chains for the sake of the gospel (Matthew 25:31-46). In everything, put God first. This is how we live to glorify God.