COG Writer Robert Thiel wrote in reaction to a CG7 article about the purpose of man:
The problem is that [“I was designed for the purpose of pleasing my Maker”] is incomplete at best. Actually, you were created because “God is love” (1 John 4:8;16). And because He is love, He sent His Son Jesus to die for you (John 3:16).
While God wants you to please Him, He does not do that for His sake. He wants you to please Him as this service will help you be able to live up to YOUR potential. He loves you so much that He has a magnificent plan for you. And His plan for you is not exactly the same as His plan for anyone else. You are one who can give in a unique way. And that is part of why God created YOU.
God is not some egotistical being who just wants to be praised and served. God has a plan in which everyone who ever lived will be offered salvation and nearly all who every lived will ultimately accept it. And in His plan, He has a place for everyone.
Something I’ve been pondering for a while comes from an article from a Hindu perspective, though:
It is said that, though God created various sorts of creatures, He was not satisfied, for none of them was able to know and appreciate His work. So he had to create a special being – man, and endow him with a special faculty called Knowledge. And when He saw that man was able to appreciate His Leela, marvellous [sic] work and intelligence, He was high pleased and satisfied. (Vide, Bhagwat, 11-9-28)
Obviously, man’s ideas must be bounced off the Bible. If they bounce back to us, then they are good. If not, we need to let go of them.
Hasn’t the Church always taught that God created human beings to reproduce Himself? He is building a family, after all. Adam and Eve were created as “one flesh” to reflect something about His nature, so we can look to the family relationship as a guide to God’s nature. While it is true that some marry and never desire to have children, they are usually in the minority. Most couples want at least a couple of kids. Despite the indoctrinations of feminism, some women still do not feel fulfilled until they have a child. While men have traditionally been more aloof in this area, I think some are really in a state of denial by saying they cannot be “bothered” by kids.
The drive for having children is a natural, normal impulse. It would seem that the impulse might even be stronger for God Himself. After all, the sacrifice of Jesus Christ should tell us something about how much God desires children.
Taking it a step further, human beings have children for their pleasure. Why wouldn’t God be the same way? Is there a Scripture to contradict this?
While I agree overall with Thiel’s assessment that God is love, that His nature is outgoing concern for others, I don’t think it does justice to characterize the opinion that we exist essentially to give glory to God as “egotistical”. If that is the case, then why aren’t all parents “egotistical” for desiring children?
If it didn’t please God, then would He do it? If it doesn’t please Him, then should He do it? Of course not! We would not, and, unless there is evidence to the contrary, we should not expect that from God.
People have children for various reasons, but in the end it is for their honor and pleasure. Feeling honored, not being exalted falsely, should bring one pleasure. Women feel “fulfilled” or “honored” through a family. A man works and builds and supports his family because it is “honorable”. Do we really understand that it brings glory to our presence to “honor your father and your mother”?
God has honor as well. God has glory, “kabowd”, as well. “Kabowd” means “glory”, “honor”, “abundance”, “riches” and “reputation”. Are we really going to say God does not desire honor and glory?
I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.
~ Isa 42:8
For mine own sake, even for mine own sake, will I do it: for how should my name be polluted? and I will not give my glory unto another.
~ Isa 48:11
The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.
~ Ps 19:1
Why does God do what He does? For honor! Have you ever understood why God is personified as a male? You ever think about how much “honor” and “reputation” means to a man? It has been commonly said that men prefer respect over love. Does this make them egotistical? In this warped world, there are some where this natural tendency has been perverted, as has been everything else. However, as a general rule, is this “egotistical”? If so, then why does Paul write for wives to “submit unto your own husbands” (Ep 5:22), while he instructs husbands to “love your wives” (v25)? God desires honor as well.
I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’
and to the south, ‘Do not hold them back.’
Bring my sons from afar
and my daughters from the ends of the earth-
everyone who is called by my name,
whom I created for my glory,
whom I formed and made.
~ Isa 43:6-7 (NIV)
For my own name’s sake I delay my wrath;
for the sake of my praise I hold it back from you,
so as not to cut you off.
See, I have refined you, though not as silver;
I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.
For my own sake, for my own sake, I do this.
How can I let myself be defamed?
I will not yield my glory to another.
~ Isa 48:9-11 (NIV)
The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.
~ Pr 16:4
Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.
~ Rev 4:11
Jesus always pointed to the Father. Jesus’ desire was to please the Father. He was our example.
How did Jesus give glory to the Father? By doing His will, even when it meant His death!
This spake he, signifying by what death he should glorify God. …
~ Jn 21:19
Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.
~ 1Pe 1:21
How should we give God the glory? Wouldn’t it be by imitating Christ and His selfless love for the Father? Shouldn’t it also be by doing His will? Shouldn’t it be by developing His character? Shouldn’t it be by becoming like Him?
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
~ Mt 5:16
For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.
~ 1Co 6:20
We need to become a different person. The old person must die. A new person must be raised up. We must kill the fleshly. We must change our priorities:
If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.
Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.
For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.
When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.
Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:
For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience:
In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them.
~ Col 3:1-7
We must be selfless. We must remember from where all of our capabilities proceed. We need to give our glory to God.
Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy, and for thy truth’s sake.
~ Ps 115:1
But he that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.
~ 2Co 10:17
Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.
~ 1Co 10:31
We have to glorify God, even as Jesus glorified God. Why?
He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.
Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.
~ 1Jn 4:8-11
Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.
Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
~ Php 2:4-5
God bent over backwards for us. Jesus bent over backwards for us. Jesus will return and honor us by welcoming us into the Family. How much more should we honor them?
We are pleased when our children are pleased, are we not? How much less do we give God pleasure, then? Yes, we are made for God’s pleasure, but it isn’t an egotistical type of desire. God shows His glory by blessing us.
Jesus even stated what gives God pleasure.
Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
~ Lk 12:32