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.

false worship can teach us about true worship

26 08 2009

One of the problems with finding a definition from the Bible on “worship” is that there is no verse that says, “Worship is…” In order to build a good argument to support my definition I will write a few blogs on specific words translated “worship.”

(I must add that recent discussion has made me reconsider my definition, and I will add another post with changes to the definition in the near future.)

The first word I will break down is the Aramaic word sĕgid. It is translated “to worship or honor” and is only found in chapter three of Daniel.

Interestingly, chapter three is about false worship, but the image is very clear.  NASB, ESV and NKJV translate the word “worship.” Most instances in this chapter are connected with other words “fall down and worship” or “worship/serve your/my god.”

Serving someone often places a person in a humble position. It also communicates that the person or object is worthy of being served. Falling down before someone is a helpless position and communicates that the person may have control over the prostrate one.

The motivation for worship was was out of fear from being punished by the ruler. Can we say they had a heart of worship? No, it was more likely just an act of worship.

Daniel 3 shows connection between worship with servitude, and giving honor and respect. Also as we read verse 12 the act of worship was a specific action. It was not a lifestyle.

What we learn from this passage is that worship includes an act of submission.