What does “whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God,” in 1 Corinthians 10:31 mean?
“If I partake with thankfulness, why am I denounced because of that for which I give thanks?” (1 Corinthians 10:30, ESV)
Throughout 1 Corinthians 8-10, Paul discusses a matter in the Corinthian churches, meat sacrificed to idols. A lot of the cheaper meats in the marketplace were part of ceremonies in the Roman Empire to worship idols. The Corinthians asked Paul if they should eat these meats because they were used in idolatry first.
Paul talks about each of the sides of the issue and then comes to the conclusion that if it bothers you to do this, don’t do it. If it bothers other Christians who are in your presence, don’t do it. But if it doesn’t bother your conscience, and you consider it simply meat to eat, then you can eat it with a clear conscience before the Lord.
The conclusion verse in his argument is 1 Corinthians 10:31. He says that if you eat or drink things that may be connected to idol worship, although you are not using them that way, eat and drink to the glory of God. Have a clear conscience if you take this route.
But if it bothers your conscience to partake of such things, when you don’t do them, abstain from them for the same purpose, for God’s glory. We can apply this to any matter in the church today. Alcohol is an example of a matter of conscience for Christians.
No matter what you do, make sure that you have decided the matter in your conscience and through prayer with the Holy Spirit. Always be considerate of other Christians around you, especially those with different views. I always ask people if I think there will be a controversial issue or problem with my actions. This is how you do everything to God’s glory.