Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. (1 Cor. 10:31)
Commenting on this verse, William MacDonald wrote:”One of the great tests of Christian behavior is whether there is any glory for God in it. Too often we test our conduct by the question, “Is there any harm in it?” But that is not the question. What we must ask is this: “Is there any glory for God in it?”
Before engaging in any activity, we should be able to bow our head and ask the Lord to glorify Himself in what we are about to do. If God cannot be honored by it, then we should refrain from doing it.
Other religions might be satisfied with behavior that has the absence of harm in it. Christianity moves beyond the merely negative to the distinctly positive. Therefore, as Keith L. Brooks said, “If you would be a successful Christian, stop hunting for the harm there is in things, and start looking for the good. If you want your life to be happy, cast your lot among those persons who are asking for the ‘good’ and not the ‘harm’ there is in it.”
Things might be harmless in themselves and yet be a dead weight in the Christian race. There is no law against an Olympic runner’s toting a sack of potatoes in the 1500 meter race. He can carry the spuds but he can’t win the race. So it is with the Christian. Things may be harmless and yet be a hindrance.
But usually when we ask “Is there any harm in it?” our question betrays a hidden doubt. We don’t ask that about activities that are legitimate on the face of them—such as prayer, Bible study, worship, witness and our daily work.
Incidentally, any honorable work can be done to the glory of God. That is why some housewives have this motto over their kitchen sink: “Divine services conducted here three times daily.”
Whenever in doubt, we could follow this advice from John Wesley’s mother; “If you wish to determine the lawfulness of a pleasure, follow this rule: Whatever weakens your reason, impairs the tenderness of your conscience, obscures your sense of God, or takes away the relish of spiritual things; whatever increases the authority of your body over your mind, that thing is sin.”