In every occupation, in every walk of life, no matter what your talents are, there is always a way to bring glory to God. Students were given the opportunity to see how true this statement is last week at the “Taboo: Glory God with Your Body” event.
Students filled the Copenbarger Presidential Dining Room for the event as they gathered around to listen to a panel of four individuals, each an expert in their field, speak about how they glorify God with their bodies.
The panel included professional tattoo artist Johnny Anderson and his wife Melanie, cross-fit trainer Kenny Keating and dance instructor Sarah Smith.
With such a unique panel, students had an opportunity to hear about how to glorify God in all different walks of life and have questions answered as to what it looks like to bring glory to God.
The night kicked off with a simple, yet complex question, “What does it mean to glorify God?”
“Glorifying God means showing His greatness and worth,” Melanie said. “When people see greatness in me, it should point them to God because He is the one who put it there.”
One by one, each panelist was given the opportunity to respond to the question, each describing an overall theme of living an authentic life that sets out to show God’s greatness and worth rather than a life full of selfish ambitions.
As the questions continued, it soon became clear how each person
used their gifts, passions and talents for the glory of God.
As a professional tattoo artist, Anderson spoke of his experiences sharing the gospel with clients, especially non-religious clients who came to him for Christ-inspired tattoos.
“We have a yearning that God put in all of us to get closer to Him,” Johnny said. “If coming in to get a tattoo can lead a young man or woman to salvation, it is bringing glory to God.”
Not only has the love of Christ been shared through these individuals in their fields, God has used some of these experiences to strengthen their personal relationships with Him.
“The thing God taught me most from working out is that the way we grow physically is the same way that we grow in our walk with God,” Keating said. “The basic things are the
most important. It’s all about consistency … we must train ourselves to be godly.”
Although God can be glorified through many things, there are also things we do that take glory away from God and put it on ourselves.
Keating describes how glory is taken away from God in his field when people exercise in order to fix imperfections rather than to be healthy, something to which Smith could easily relate. After being in the dance scene for many years, Smith began to struggle with an eating disorder.
Trying to fix all the imperfections she saw in herself was like saying, “You messed up God, You’re wrong. I’ll fix this,” Smith said, thus putting the emphasis on herself and taking the glory away from God.
In the world of tattooing, this also seemed to be an issue.
“So much emphasis and thought into a tattoo intended to make you stand out becomes self-glorifying. It’s all about your heart,” Melanie said.
To end the night, students were given the opportunity to send personal questions through text message for the panelists.
“I wanted to find out how tattooing was set biblically and was able to get some questions answered about it. It was a good experience,” Amey Fenwick, sophomore, said.
“It was so personable and relatable,” Levi Molina, junior, said. “The panel was so diverse, but they all related to the same source. We are all serving the same God.”
In whatever you do, be it dancing, exercising, tattooing or using another talent, do it all for the glory of God, for in Him true joy is found.