The Meaning of 1 Corinthians 10:31

Spiritual growth, progress, and production should occur any time at any place (and should not be separated from life in general). Spiritual growth is intertwined with every aspect of life because just praying, reading our Bibles, and being fed from a good teaching source is insufficient to get any believer anywhere by themselves. Without proper application of the truth, we would never grow spiritually. Therefore, growth, progress, and production can and will occur no matter where we are (whether we are at school, work, or somewhere else).

Anywhere we go, we can minister to others, apply the truth we have learned from the Word, and learn important lessons through our application of Scripture. It doesn’t matter if we aren’t reading our Bibles at every moment of the day, of course, because anything we do can still entail spiritual growth, progress, and production. Additionally, James states that faith without works is useless. We can accomplish all three by properly thinking, talking, and behaving as our Lord would want us to. So, yes, Bible reading, prayer, and personal ministry must occur, but that all needs to carry into how we live our lives everywhere we go.

Conclusion- spiritual growth, progress, and production can occur at any time and place and involve just about everything we do (we must walk by the Spirit at ALL times). Yes, we must read God’s Word at home, but that and properly conducting ourselves elsewhere go hand in hand. Satan can tempt us at any time and place (often when we least expect it)-our flesh can act up on us at any time and place—God can test us at any time and location He desires. Everything we do in life (as 1 Corinthians 10:31 states) should be done for God’s glory. Anything can be used as an opportunity for spiritual learning based on how we handle those circumstances in how we think, what we say, and what we do.

To clarify through example, just working, reading, and studying in school by themselves are not spiritual growth or production. In other words, they won’t grow anyone spiritually, just as how doing anything secular in general by itself won’t spiritually advance us. Unbelievers and lukewarm Christians do these things all the time, yet they think very little about how they are going about it. The task (what we do and where we do it) is not the issue but how we do it—our thoughts, motives, and attitude.

For example, a college professor or a marine does not have a better or more noble ministry than a spiritually mature person who works at McDonalds. The venue is not what matters but the spiritual fruit itself and the heart and motivations involved. We can never grow spiritually without properly orientating ourselves to every aspect of life, regardless of what we’re doing. The goal of anything we do, whether it is work, school, or anything else, is not only for the benefit of secular learning, earning our bread and butter, or whatever else, but is most importantly, to bring glory to God.

Everything we do should be for God’s glory, but that doesn’t mean everything counts as ministry, such as eating and drinking. In that case, we eat and drink for God’s glory by giving Him credit for providing us the meal and being thankful for it. But we aren’t serving anyone. However, we also know that ministry (spiritual fruit) also involves bringing glory to God. So the Corinthians passage is talking about glorifying God in everything (obviously), whether it produces rewardable fruit or nothing at all. So it is a mix of both rewardable and non-rewardable deeds. We don’t do everything expecting to get something in return but do so because we love God and want to see His name praised and acknowledged in all that we do. We don’t live our lives like a light switch where we do only the rewardable deeds with a good attitude and pure motives and the none-rewardable ones with a lousy mentality. Plus, we don’t know everything and how much God will reward us specifically. Some things may count in God’s eyes we may not be aware of. Who knows? The safest route is not to get caught up in the details but to allow the Lord to be the judge.