worship is not a lifestyle

14 10 2009

When I think about lifestyle I think about “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.”

Robin Leach

Lifestyle is “a way of life or style of living that reflects the attitudes and values of a person or group.”[1]

Let’s think about what it means to live a healthy lifestyle since it’s probably easier to think about that than being rich for most people.

A healthy lifestyle means I’ll drink enough water, eat enough vegetables, fruits, and proteins and avoid junk food. But what about if I choose to play the bass guitar instead of the electric guitar? Is that a health choice?

Everything we do is not necessarily a health decision, though a lot of our choices impact our health.

Louis Giglio echoes what many say when he wrote, “Every day, all daylong, everywhere you go you worship.”[2] The argument is that our actions (our lifestyle) are a reflection of what we value and is worship.

My personal challenge to you is to find worship talked about as a lifestyle in Scripture. If you are fast you might mention 1 Corinthians 10:31. There is an important distinction that I will unpack in a later post: Paul is saying that in all we do we are to glorify God. He didn’t use the word worship.

In Genesis 24 we see worship as a conscious act. As the servant of Abraham saw God answer his request he responded with worship. Looking at every mention of “worship” in the Bible I could not find the idea of worship as a lifestyle.

I am not against worshiping throughout the day, but what I am saying is that everything we do is not some form of worship.

The servant of Abraham obeyed his master, which is proper obedience toward authority. It is an act of obedience that is God honoring, but it is not written of as an act of worship. The way he responded toward God after He revealed Rebekah was called worship.

We see worship is not a way of life or a style of living, but a specific act. The problem with saying we worship all daylong in everything we do is that the importance of our active choice loses significance.

There is no passive worship. We have to actively choose to worship God for who He is and what He has done.


[1] lifestyle. Dictionary.com. The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/lifestyle (accessed: July 20, 2009).
[2] Louis Gigilio, The Air I Breathe: Worship as a Way of Life. (Sisters, Oregon: Multnomah, 2003), 11.

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2 responses

14 10 2009
jason

good stuff. i see and can agree with your point. can u please point out some active forms of worship? i usually call it ‘music worship’ rather than just ‘worship’ just to signify that that’s just one way to go about it

14 10 2009
Jonathan Louie

Here are some references. The hard part is not finding descriptions of intentional worship, but finding a clear picture of worship that falls under a non-intentional/lifestyle act.

Isaiah 19:21 – Thus the Lord will make Himself known to Egypt, and the Egyptians will know the Lord in that day. They will even worship with sacrifice and offering, and will make a vow to the Lord and perform it.

Exodus 4:31 – So the people believed; and when they heard that the Lord was concerned about the sons of Israel and that He had seen their affliction, then they bowed low and worshiped.

Exodus 24:1 – Then He said to Moses, “Come up to the Lord, you and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu and seventy of the elders of Israel, and you shall worship at a distance.

Judges 7:15 – When Gideon heard the account of the dream and its interpretation, he bowed in worship. He returned to the camp of Israel and said, “Arise, for the Lord has given the camp of Midian into your hands.”

1 Chronicles 16:29 – Ascribe to the Lord the glory due His name; Bring an offering, and come before Him; Worship the Lord in holy array.

Matthew 2:11 – After coming into the house they saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell to the ground and worshiped Him. Then, opening their treasures, they presented to Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

Matthew 28:9 – And behold, Jesus met them and greeted them. And they came up and took hold of His feet and worshiped Him.

Revelation 5:14 – And the four living creatures kept saying, “Amen.” And the elders fell down and worshiped.

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