Why Cooking A Meal Is just as “Christian” As Praying

Posted by on Aug 14, 2012 in Uncategorized, Writing | 45 Comments


Growing up I used to think that to be a good Christian you had to be in “ministry”. I thought one’s who weren’t were just JV Christians. I thought that to be really on God’s good side you needed to be a pastor, theologian, or priest. You could maybe be a bible study leader, but that was pushing it. It was almost not holy enough. Being a bible study leader was like being on the swing team in high school sports (where you’d play on JV but sometimes get the privilege of sitting on the bench of Varsity).



It was until I actually opened the scriptures for myself I saw something quite different.


Peter was a fisherman.


Paul was a tentmaker.


In fact, there is almost little to no record the first two hundred years of Christianity that someone switched vocations (unless their vocation directly violated scripture like prostitution, sorcery, etc) after they began to follow Jesus. Since Christians were persecuted they simply stayed in whatever vocation they were in order to provide for the family, and then maybe led or pursued other titles in the underground church. But for the most part if a blacksmith became a Christian, he stayed a blacksmith (For more on this, check out this book). The only difference is instead of being a blacksmith to the glory of himself, he began to be a blacksmith to the glory of God.



1st Corinthians 10:31 couldn’t be more clear.


“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”


There’s no asterisk after that verse that says, “only if that eating or drinking is done in an overtly Christian way like communion or a church potluck.”


It says, whatever you do.


No qualifications.


No exceptions.


If the bible calls it a sin, or if you know you are blatantly doing it to the glory of yourself rather than God, then don’t do it.


But…


Also realize, you can bring God glory in exactly whatever domain He has placed you already. Sometimes we think that God wants us to only do super “holy” things. The truth is holiness is more defined by the stature of your heart than the “job” section you fill out on your Facebook. You don’t need to feel guilty that you’re a chef. You don’t need to feel guilty that you only paint, but your dad wants you to be a pastor. Too many times some Christians want to go into “ministry” because of outside pressures by their parents or pastor, not realizing where they already are at that moment is their ministry. The way Christianity will spread the most is when there are disciples of Jesus living in every domain of society (food, politics, music, art, etc), showing Him as Lord of all, and the greatest pursuit of joy possible.


Do you like to cook? Do it to the glory of God.


Do you like to work on cars? Do it to the glory of God.


Do you like to write stories? Do it to the glory of God.


If you have a thankful heart and if you are using that domain to reflect His beauty as Creator then that is worship. Listening to Hillsong United isn’t worship, it’s a form of worship. I found a deeper level of joy and connection with Jesus when I realized that me eating a good meal with thankfulness was just as “holy” as my prayer time. The truth is God doesn’t just want your “Christian” things. He wants it all. When we realize the beauty of God’s grace in the mundane, not just the religious, that’s when we will begin to see Him correctly.


What’s something you do to the glory of God that might seem mundane?


Additional Resources:

Imagine (book by Steve Turner)

The God Who Is There (book by Francis Schaeffer)

Do All To The Glory Of God (book by Watchman Nee)

Church Clothes: Purpose, Passion, & Progression (Blog by Lecrae)

How To Drink Orange Juice To The Glory of God (Blog by John Piper)


45 Comments

  1. Tiffany
    August 14, 2012

    Great post! Very inspiring! It’s always an honor to read your posts, God really speaks through you. Keep on keepin’ on!

    Reply
  2. sharon alice
    August 14, 2012

    reading bible as my daily duty .

    Reply
  3. Lyanne
    August 14, 2012

    I needed to read that. I don’t see myself in ministry to be honest. I love animals and I see myself behind an animal sanctuary all for the glory of God! Keeping after his glorious creations (:

    Reply
    • andres
      August 16, 2012

      That’s amazing!

      Reply
  4. Mary Monroe
    August 14, 2012

    Beautifully said

    Reply
  5. Chelsea
    August 14, 2012

    Another thought: David was a shepherd day in and day out before he defeated Goliath, and although he didn’t know it, he was being prepared for that moment by facing bears and what not and God delivering him from that. The same can be happenning in our lives as we worship God faithfully with our mundane work. One day, that experience will be used to reach someone in a way no one else could. Another reason to face the mundane, I suppose.

    Reply
  6. Beau McKenzie
    August 14, 2012

    Exaclty what I needed. You don’t realize how God has used you to grow me.

    Reply
  7. Kristy
    August 14, 2012

    Thank you so much for this! This truly blessed me and opens my eyes to so much! Thank God for you… God bless you always!

    Reply
  8. Beau McKenzie
    August 14, 2012

    Exaclty what I needed. You don’t realize how God has used you to grow me.

    Reply
  9. Ashok
    August 14, 2012

    Agreed. I see soo much of missions and the gospel stuff in Asia… that wants to evangelize everyone. Its not bad. But stress is on that soo much that anything of the other domains of society you’re into.. is considered out of God’s work and presence. How awesome would be evangelising if we remained in our domains and did our best for the glory of God.

    Reply
  10. Rick Costa
    August 14, 2012

    If more people realized this we would truly be a more powerful force in this world. Love this post.

    Reply
  11. Carlos
    August 14, 2012

    Thank you! I needed this. God bless you.

    Reply
  12. Ambassadors For Christ
    August 14, 2012

    Praise the Lord!
    Great article

    Reply
  13. blanca cerda
    August 14, 2012

    Well said. I sometimes feel guilty about not persusing a role in the church, and should be following in the steps of others in the church. But now, i can def use the skills our father gave me for his glory.

    Reply
  14. Mason Goad
    August 14, 2012

    I agree one hundred percent! I think Chelsea made a great point because you never know if the mundane may be preparation for another chapter in your life. If you look in Luke chapter five verse eleven, the disciples left everything they had ever known to follow Jesus because He said that they were now going to be fishers of men. I think it is awesome how Jesus chooses us to use us in all aspects of life! I just pray that if He ever ask me to drop my livelihood to follow Him that I have the faith to do so!
    One Love, One God, One Way,
    Mason Goad

    Reply
  15. geveli
    August 14, 2012

    i ride my supersport motorcycle to the glory of God. He’s pretty awesome :)

    Reply
  16. Rebecca
    August 15, 2012

    Awesome post. I so come from the same background as you. Attitude and the heart we do something with is so important – yet so easily to forget. It is easy to turn things into routine and forget to praise God in what we do.

    Reply
  17. Pelela
    August 15, 2012

    Wow am really blessed. God Bless you bro, may he be with you in evrything you do in Jesus mighty name.

    Reply
  18. Samson
    August 15, 2012

    Peter was a fisherman, true.he died preaching the gospel. paul was a tentmaker he died an apostle. Jesus was a carpenter, he died on the cross.it’s barely possible to link one’s job with God’s purpose because the former iz based on one’s dreams- that’s how one gets there while the former is based on the giftings that God has placed inside of an individual- yu get there by accepting Christ, receiving the Holy spirit and so on.

    Reply
    • gveli
      August 16, 2012

      It is not correct to say that someone’s job is based on their dreams and not on God’s purpose. the two are not mutally exclusive. our goals and our ambitions are often inspired by the Holy Spirit and He utilizes our talents and abilities for His purpose, after all, everything in and around us comes from the Lord. if Christians were all missionaries or preachers, who would be presenting the Gospel in the workplace?

      Reply
      • Nikkie
        August 30, 2012

        All Christians ARE missionaries and preachers ;)
        Haha. I get what you mean… The whole world is our mission field that Jesus gave us the responsibility of preaching the gospel to, regardless of our respective fields.

        Brilliant post, by the way, Jeff! This was encouraging to me as I’m under immense pressure from family to become a lawyer, but, at the moment, I just don’t feel called that way. This reminded me that whichever field I eventually enter, hopefully teaching, is to and for God’s glory anyway.

        Reply
  19. Samson
    August 15, 2012

    the 2nd “former”- the latter.

    Reply
  20. Diana
    August 15, 2012

    Thank you so much for this. And Chelsea for your response too. Right now I am a stay at home mom for my 20 month old and 3 year old, and my husband is a teacher, so money is even tighter than ever too. And I am always feeling guilty as I pray with my children that I am not doing enough to help others. I almost feel like God is looking at me while I am praying thinking, “what did she do today to help someone in need?” I think it even interferes with my day because it almost makes me in a bad mood and makes me feel pretty guilty sometimes because some friends of mine volunteer quite a bit, but I just don’t have the time like I use to. But a friend of mine also put it into perspective for me, that right now my time is going to be the best mom I can be, and one day when they are older and the time is right, I will have that time to go out into the world and help others more. I think there are definitely everyday times like shopping at Walmart where I can show my children the value of helping others in small ways. We always wind up helping someone find an item, or helping an elderly person get their food put on the belt and it their carts. I guess the little things will have to do for now. I just hope God knows the passion is still in my heart and that I actually go out of my house hoping I can help someone each day! But right now I just need to focus on raising my children and being a great wife to the glory of God.

    Reply
  21. Jessica S
    August 15, 2012

    I truly needed that! What a great post!

    Reply
  22. Dustin
    August 15, 2012

    Great article Jeff! Can’t tell you how much I’ve struggled with this the past few years. Have u ever read The Air I Breath by Louie Giglio? Also very good book on the topic.

    Reply
  23. Jimmy
    August 15, 2012

    Hey Jeff,

    I agree with almost everything you say, you don’t need to be in ministry to serve at all! One of my mentors once told me the only reason that you should ever go into ministry is if you literally can not be happy doing anything else. Good, sound advice.

    Have to say though, prayer is special. Whilst everything can and should be done to glorify God, they shouldn’t take the place of prayer. I agree that both eating and praying can be holy, but eating can’t replace praying as the primary way to get to know God! Interested in your thoughts?

    Mad love, keep up the good work.
    Jimmy.

    Reply
  24. Candace
    August 15, 2012

    I have enjoyed reading your blog! This is very inspiring for a new christian who wants to serve God but isn’t sure how to use my talents for his glory!! Thank you!

    Reply
  25. Chris
    August 15, 2012

    I’ve been very active in ministry for a number of years- SS teacher, youth leader, home church leader, family crisis counseling… but I can honestly say I get to do more real ministry in my work. Church stuff tends to deal with church people, already saved (usually). I dispatch trucks for a living- I’m on the phone all day every day with drivers and brokers. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve gotten to pray with someone as they are broken down on the side of the road or having a bad day at the office. My voice might be the only bit of Jesus they encounter all day. I’ve built some great lasting relationships and seen people come to Christ all because I chose not to be ashamed of who my God is, who I am, and what I do! :)

    Reply
  26. Iris
    August 15, 2012

    Wow beautifully put and so powerful. I tell my kids all the time, where you are and what you love to do is how you will ministry to those around you, I have a pianist, a chef, a guitarist , a dancer/singer and another into fashion….. and as I see them growing everyday in Christ and talents I thank God that they will be able to reach those that maybe we can’t reach. It’s something I strongly believe that God will use you where you are doing what you do for His glory.
    Thank you for the post, it’s a word that many of us need to hear. God bless you always :)

    Reply
  27. Heather W.
    August 15, 2012

    Thank you for posting. I am constantly battling in my mind the balance of saving animals who have a spirit but not a soul. Am I focusing on the wrong thing? I am then reminded that God created and uses those animals to help heal people and show His love, especially when we as humans fail to do it. I’m also not only rescuing animals but building relationships with other volunteers and workers. People I never would be in contact with otherwise get to see my response to situations that are horrific. They get to see me forgive people who have done heinous crimes, not because I want to forgive them, not because I excuse what they did, but because Jesus forgave me. They get to see Jesus work through me while I do something I love.

    Reply
  28. Brandy
    August 15, 2012

    I am a SAHM so everything I do is pretty mundane and boring….But I do talk about the Lord any chance I get with my children. I am so proud because my 5 year old is our ‘grace leader’, at meals she launches into grace without even being asked :)

    Reply
  29. Angelica
    August 15, 2012

    Thank you Jonathan! I’ve always felt kind of guilty for wanting to become a doctor because I felt I wouldn’t exalt God enough through that job. But thanks to you I realized there is grace everywhere, thanks :) God bless!

    Reply
  30. Ashley
    August 15, 2012

    Jeff, My husband and I moved here to Tacoma six years ago and it was because of his job… but I wondered why? LIke…. why as in….what reason did God have us here? It is amazing to look back and see how God used my husbands job to relocate us in order to take us on the greatest faith journey of our lives so far. Thankful that God moves and works wherever we are…

    Reply
  31. Why Cooking A Meal Is just as "Christian" As Praying | JEFFBETHKE.COM - One Church
    August 15, 2012

    [...] Why Cooking A Meal Is just as “Christian” As Praying | JEFFBETHKE.COM. by JEFFBETHKE [...]

    Reply
  32. Becky
    August 15, 2012

    My mundane this morning occured when I encountered trafic as I was driving to work. I turned on my signal light but no one was willing to let me over. The opportunity finally arrived but as I began to pull into the the next lane the car behind me ignored my signal speed around me. She cut me off. I was frusttrated but wihin minutes she needed to get over and no one was letting her. I actually thought, now you will see how it feels as I began to pass her. I think God slapped me in the back of my head becasue I stopped just in time to let her over out of no where. I told God, “that was all for you and I am not even happy about it.” I really am glad He helps me swallow my pride when my flesh starts to act up. It is hard to obey God and show love to others in the small stuff but it all counts as worship.

    Reply
  33. Helen
    August 15, 2012

    I love that Jesus ate with people everywhere He went – People opened their homes to Him and friends were invited over to share in a meal and conversation. Jesus cooked fish for his disciples as they were coming in from fishing, after He’d risen. Sharing a meal together is a social way of bonding and providing a way to really get to know others. I think it opens people’s hearts for fellowship, praying and sharing the Gospel.

    Reply
  34. Leah
    August 15, 2012

    When I played college basketball up here in Canada, there was a pastor’s daughter who would always say that she was playing to glorify God. At the time, I didnt quite get what that meant. In my mind, dribbling a basketball was not going to give God glory. But a few years later in my walk with faith, I began to understand. Something that I do is host dinners and gatherings for my friends. My husband and I have used our home to glorify Him and bring others to the Lord. Thanks Jeff for always sharing such a good message. You are blessed!

    Reply
  35. Melissa
    August 15, 2012

    My head knows you speak the truth but I guess my heart can’t accept it. I’m 36 years old and have struggled my entire life with feeling inadequate or not being good enough in just about every aspect of my life. This has been on my mind a lot lately since a close friend was diagnosed with lymphoma. I’ve been reflecting on my life or lack thereof , so much wasted time. I’ve been trying to figure out why I am this way, but maybe instead I need to try to focus more on how to stop living and feeling so defeated. I pray that the Lord continues to bless and use you to touch others lives.

    Reply
  36. Ashlyn Sites
    August 15, 2012

    Great post.. immediately made me think of my CEO. His love for food and cooking combined with his love for Jesus created something powerful. In just three short years he has founded an organization that has now sent millions of meals to hungry and starving children around the world. The key ingredient being his love for Jesus, of course. His story and success has been one of the greatest examples for me in my faith- teaching me such a valuable lesson-to live out my every action to reflect God’s glory- I’m only selling myself short when I fail to do this. God wants to be present in all we do, every breath we take- it’s a focus of mine I have to remind myself everyday. When we do, though, beyond amazing things happen! I think you’d like this article! —-> http://www.nashuatelegraph.com/livinglifestyles/955763-224/how-a-25-cent-casserole-is-helping-feed.html

    Reply
  37. Bethany
    August 15, 2012

    I go to school for the glory of God. I listen to the radio for the glory of God. I play my piano for the glory of God. I gave up cussing for the glory of God. I pray before meals for the glory of God. I skip church to go help someone in need, when it’s needed, for the glory of God. I study for the glory of God. You know, common stuff. Even if someone else doesn’t think what I’m doing is appropriate, as long as I’m doing it for the glory of God, and He’s cool with, who cares what they think?

    Reply
  38. Ac
    August 15, 2012

    Hey Jeff, I’d suggest you add ‘The Purpose Driven Life’ by Rick Warren to the additional resources. I actually thought you read it already. Good post!

    Reply
  39. Ana
    August 15, 2012

    Amazing post. Looking forward to read more from you. Also, I am really greatful I found out about you…God bless!!

    Reply
  40. cooking dinner can be so much more than cooking. « Living Life Half Full
    August 15, 2012

    [...] stories about our days, she clicked on a blog that her boyfriend had recently sent her…Why Cooking A Meal Is just as “Christian” As Praying…that highlighted the importance of doing all things for the glory of God…even in [...]

    Reply
  41. Laurie
    August 15, 2012

    I cook for the glory of God, for anyone that needs to eat, wants to eat or just loves to eat! Many think I’m crazy but I love it and I love what God does through it!

    Reply

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