Christmas Gift Tags and the Perfect Christmas Verse
In 1 Corinthians 10:31 we read, "So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” Perhaps there is no better time to glorify God than during the holiday season. But what does glorifying God really mean, and how can we do it in ALL things? I learned a great lesson about this as I started my career a few years back.
When my photography business first started growing, I was thrilled and ecstatic. I’d been a photographer for 3 years at that point and I was finally reaching the goal that every start-up business owner has—to be 100% self-employed. During this time, I had coffee with a friend who asked me a challenging question: "Paul says in 1 Corinthians 10 that whatever we do should be to the glory of God. How does being a photographer, for you, glorify God?"
This really stumped me. And to be honest, I was shocked at how stumped I was. Up to that point, my motivation for being a photographer was the following: 1) I enjoyed giving people nice photos of themselves; 2) others told me I was good at photography; 3) I thought it would be fun to be my own boss. Now, these are not bad reasons to do something, but they shouldn't be THE reason. I have to say; I was extremely stunned that I had dedicated that many years of my life to growing in a trait without intentionally thinking about how I was glorifying God.
I wrestled with these thoughts for weeks and I honestly considered quitting my business. I didn't want to spend all my time doing something for me or for people; I wanted to do it for God and to glorify Him. Through prayer and reading Scripture, I realized that this journey I was on was a clear calling from God. First, because I realized He had given me a gift and was allowing me to create photos that would forever remind couples of their marriage vows and covenant—that they were promising to love each other in sickness and health, in good times and bad. Secondly, I discovered that God was all about marriage. As I read through Revelation 19, I learned that a wedding ceremony is just a picture of something much more glorious, the marriage supper of the lamb, where we will be united with Christ. Through this, my heart for weddings and marriages grew. I suddenly found so much joy in being a wedding photographer.
With this new perspective, I was able to be intentional about how I glorified Him in my business. Even though my actions were the same, my heart was different. This made all the difference in the world! When my heart changed, my joy grew. The pressures of running a business seemed to fade because I knew I wasn’t doing it for myself or by my own power—it was all for the glory of God. Whether I booked 2 weddings or 20, I would do it joyfully to Christ.
This experience has taught me so much about what it truly means to glorify God in all you do. It is so easy to fall into a routine of doing "stuff." This can be extremely evident in our holiday traditions. We often fall into the pattern of doing things simply because it makes us happy or it’s simply what we are “supposed” to do. However, falling into these patterns causes us to forget the sole purpose of why we exist—to glorify God.
And how easy is it to think this way during the holiday season? Let’s face it—there’s a lot going on this time of year. From getting family photos taken, buying gifts while still staying on a budget, attending countless holiday parties, and seeing people that you frankly may not want to see...it’s a lot to take in. Trust me, I completely understand. But is this what we want to pass on to our children? That Christmas time is stressful and full of a bunch of “stuff” that needs to get done?
In Noel Piper’s book “Treasuring God in Our Traditions,” she talks about heirlooms and offers this definition: “Heirloom: something of special value handed on from one generation to another.” In a way, traditions are heirlooms—you learn them from your parents and you pass them down to your children. They represent what is significant to you and teaches your children what’s important.
I’d encourage all of us to reflect on our traditions and the heart behind them. But specifically, think about the most important one: passing on the legacy of Christ to the next generation. That is a tradition that is to be treasured above all others.