Intentionality for God’s glory

Does life on earth have any real meaning or purpose? The Bible tells us our true goal and purpose is found in living for the God who made us – so whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all to the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31).

Living for God’s glory is the opposite of the way we naturally act. We act as though we are the centre of the universe, we see everything from our perspective. But that self-centredness leads to great problems for us and our world:

Self-centredness creates… alienation. Nothing makes us more miserable than self-absorption, the endless, unsmiling concentration on our needs, wants, treatment, ego, and record. In addition self-centredness leads to social disintegration. It is at the root of breakdown in relationships between nations, races and classes, and individuals. (Tim Keller)[1]

The Bible points us to a radically different perspective. Life is not all about me – it’s about God. If God’s glory becomes our goal, everything changes, the ordinary things we do that seem to have no meaning, take on a whole new significance as we see them as things we do for God’s glory.

I should live my life with a radical and determined intentionality that ensures that every aspect of it honours the God who made me and saved me…All too often our actions and words have no explicit thought of God…But by grace we can live our lives with a ‘glory intentionality’, by asking ourselves: how will this glorify God? (Steve Timmis, Tim Chester)[2]

Intentionality speaks of a whole way of life, living in a way that is purposeful or deliberate in seeking to glorify God in everything. It’s not natural for us to ask, ‘How can I glorify  God?’, because we’re self absorbed, we’re more concerned with our own comfort or reputation. Yet the more we come to see God’s greatness, his holiness, his love, his justice, his power, his grace, his mercy, the more we see how helpless we are without him and how completely dependant we are on God for everything, the more we realise  our life should be about him rather than us. It’s actually very liberating for us to start to think more and more, how can I glorify God? How can I behave in this situation at work in a way that glorifies God? How can I serve my family in a way that glorifies God? How can I use my money in a way that most glorifies God? How can I play sport in a way that glorifies God? When someone criticizes me, how can I respond in a way that glorifies God? By God’s grace we can learn to make our decisions more and more with a concern not for our comfort or reputation, but for God’s glory.

If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen. (1 Peter 4:11)


[1] The Reason for God, 220

[2] Gospel Centred Life, 10.

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