If you consider yourself a Christian, you are well aware of the phrase: “It’s all for the glory of God.”
In fact, you hear this everywhere in church: hymns, Bible, sermons. In fact, more than 500 instances does the word glory or glorify shows up in the Bible.
Up until several years ago, I had an abstract understanding on what it means to glorify God. It wasn’t until I encountered the work of Johann Sebastian Bach, the 18th century German musician, that his work shed light on what this really meant. Bach always finished his cantatas with his signature SDG.
SDG stands for Solid Deo Gloria, meaning “Glory to God Alone,” which has been used to give credit to God in piece of work. His purpose behind his work was imbued with a higher calling: “The aim and final end of all music should be none other than the glory of God and the refreshment of the soul.”
So, what does it really mean to glorify God?
Here’s a simple explanation I found helpful.
To “glorify” God simply means to give glory to Him. The word glory as related to God in the Old Testament bears with it the idea of greatness of splendor. In the New Testament, the word translated “glory” means “dignity, honor, praise and worship.”
Putting the two together, we find that glorifying God means to acknowledge His greatness and give Him honor by praising and worshiping Him, primarily because He, and He alone, deserves to be praised, honored and worshiped. God’s glory is the essence of His nature, and we give glory to Him by recognizing that essence.
The question that comes to my mind is, if God has all the glory, which He does, how then do we “give Him” glory?
1 Corinthians 10:31 says, “Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”
9 Ways of Giving Glory at Work
I stumbled across a blog post from John Piper which he spoke at a conference called Engage whose mission is to equip young professionals in the workplace. The 9 ways Piper suggests how young professionals can glorify work are worth memorizing. So here you go. Enjoy.
Dependence. Go to work utterly dependent on God (Proverbs 3:5-6; John 15:5). Without him you can’t breathe, move, think, feel, or talk. Not to mention be spiritually influential. Get up in the morning and let God know your desperation for him. Pray for help.
Integrity. Be absolutely and meticulously honest and trustworthy on the job. Be on time. Give a full day’s work. “Thou shalt not steal.” More people rob their employers by being slackers than by filching the petty cash.
Skill. Get good at what you do. God has given you not only the grace of integrity but the gift of skills. Treasure that gift and be a good steward of those skills. This growth in skill is built on dependence and integrity.
Corporate shaping. As you have influence and opportunity, shape the ethos of the workplace so that the structures and policies and expectations and aims move toward accordance with Christ. For example, someone is shaping the ethos of Chick-fil-A restaurants with this video.
Impact. Aim to help your company have an impact that is life-enhancing without being soul-destroying. Some industries have an impact that is destructive (e.g., porn, gambling, abortion, marketing scams, etc). But many can be helped to turn toward impact that is life-giving without being soul-ruining. As you have opportunity, work toward that.
Communication. Work places are webs of relationships. Relationships are possible through communication. Weave your Christian worldview into the normal communications of life. Don’t hide your light under a basket. Put it on the stand. Winsomely. Naturally. Joyfully. Let those who love their salvation say continually, Great is the Lord! (Psalm 40:16)
Love. Serve others. Be the one who volunteers first to go get the pizza. To drive the van. To organize the picnic. Take an interest in others at work. Be known as the one who cares not just about the light-hearted weekend tales, but the burdens of heavy and painful Monday mornings. Love your workmates, and point them to the great Burden Bearer.
Money. Work is where you make (and spend) money. It is all God’s, not yours. You are a trustee. Turn your earning into the overflow of generosity in how you steward God’s money. Don’t work to earn to have. Work to earn to have to give and to invest in Christ-exalting ventures. Make your money speak of Christ as your supreme Treasure.
Thanks. Always give thanks to God for life and health and work and Jesus. Be a thankful person at work. Don’t be among the complainers. Let your thankfulness to God overflow in a humble spirit of gratitude to others. Be known as the hope-filled, humble, thankful one at work.
Question: How do you glorify God at work?