How can we glorify God?

The numerous responses are taken from Thomas Watson’s “A Body of Divinity,” a book that is based on the Westminster Assembly’s Shorter Catechism – you can read the entirety of the book here.  The first part of the book naturally answers the first question cited in the Catechism, “what is the chief end of man?” (Watson, pp. 6) and seeks to help the reader to (1) “what are we to understand by God’s glory?” and (2) “what is it to glorify God?”, which Watson says consists of four things: appreciation, adoration, affection and subjection (Watson, pp. 6-7).  Without going into too much detail I wanted to list off the ways in which we can glorify God.  For me personally, I sometimes find it difficult to articulate all the ways in which I and others can glorify God and thus, I found Watson’s explanation of how we can glorify God immensely helpful.  Here they are:

  • We glorify God by preferring God’s glory above all other things.
  • We glorify God by choosing His will over against our own.
  • We glorify God when we are content to be outshined by others in gifts and esteem, so that his glory may be increased.
  • We glorify God by an ingenuous confession of sin.
  • We glorify God by believing in Him.
  • We glorify God being tender of His glory.  Concerning this point, Watson said, “an ingenuous child weeps to see a disgrace done to his father” (Watson, pp. 12).
  • We glorify God by fruitfulness.
  •  We glorify God by being content in the situation in which He has placed us.
  • We glorify God by working out our own salvation.
  • We glorify God by walking/living cheerfully. “It brings glory to God, when the world see a Christian has that within him that can make him cheerful in the worst of times, that can enable him, with the nightingale, to sing with a thorn at his breast” (Watson, pp. 14).
  • We glorify God by standing up for His truths.
  • We glorify God by praising Him. “Doxology, or praise, is a God-centered exalting work” (Watson, pp. 15).
  • We glorify God by being zealous for His name.
  • We glorify God by labouring to draw others to God; by seeking to convert others, and so make them instruments of glorifying God.
  • We glorify God in a high degree when we suffer for God, and seal the gospel with our blood.
  • We glorify God when we give God the glory of all that we do
  • We glorify God by a holy life. “A bad life dishonors God” (Watson, pp. 17).
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