Sunday, September 30, 2012

Glorifying God

“Whatever you eat or drink or whatever you do, you must do all for the glory of God.” I Corinthians 10:3

“Writing about Muslims is sexy,”
my Muslim friend stated with a tone of annoyance noting the proliferation of Christian and secular books on the subject of Islam. They get people’s attention and sell. She probably could say the same thing about Christians  giving talks about Muslims or Islam. No wonder a passionate response arises from Muslims to defend their religion. I just finished reading a book which exposes a shameful atrocity done at the hands of a small percentage of Muslims who are engaged in criminal activity but which continues undercover because corruption in government fosters it. It was true information but through my eyes it lacked the redemptive element.

I get disturbed when I sense the goal of giving an inside look, whether in written or verbal form, is more about satisfying our appetite for knowledge of hidden activity than revealing God’s redemptive touch. What is truly being glorified? Or who? The tabloid magazines reveal we have an appetite to know what really happens behind closed doors. Sometimes, sad to say, we might not really be all that interested in hearing how Christians are being used as Kingdom of God agents to bring light and transformation as in knowing sensational carnal stuff.

My yearning is for God to be glorified in the midst of everything I do which includes my ministry among Muslims, and my writing and speaking – the “whatever”.  I cry out to God, “Please, don’t let people be left with sordidness, oppression, and ugly depravity but that You are brought into everything and shine like a bright light of hope, rescue and transformation. Oh Lord, please don’t let me give out too much or unnecessary information to feed my Christian brothers and sisters’ appetites to know the dark side. Help me to know what my writing and speaking boundaries should be – at what point enough information has been given. Always help me to desire to talk more about You than Islam or Muslims. Let You be my last word.”

So many Christians view Muslim women as victims. Not all are, but some certainly are. The conversation with Amal, for example, revealed she was a victim of man's depravity.  I could have just been intensely curious to know every detail and listened carefully to get the inside look of bad stuff really clear, felt sorry for her and given her a hug. But God would not have received any glory if that was as far as it went. Sordidness would have been magnified big time. Or I could have chosen to speak into her sad story and taken her to a higher realm than the “garbage dump” – into the realm of a big powerful God who knows everything, cares for what is happening to her and declared a strong Savior. Ministry comes with needing to make choices. How can I bring God into this situation? More and more, glorifying God’s name is becoming a strong aspiration for me.

Dear heavenly Father, teach me how to glorify You in the “whatever”. In Jesus’ name, Amen.