Worshiping God is a high privilege and joy. Christians love to worship so much that it may sound to them very spiritual and appropriate to suggest that everything Christians do is worship. To say, “Even when I am doing the mundane things of life, I am worshiping God,” may seem suggestive of a close relationship with Him. But is it true that the whole Christian life is worship? The biblical answer is no. Consider the following points:
- By definition, the biblical idea of worship involves a definite act or set of actions, not an overall state of being, emotion, or attitude (Judges 7:15; 1 Samuel 1:19; 2 Samuel 12:20; John 4:21-24; Acts 8:27; 24:11; Hebrews 13:5). The most frequently used Greek word translated “worship” in the New Testament means “reverence paid.” Therefore, worship has a beginning time and an ending time (e.g., Genesis 22:5).
- The Bible teaches that while one should engage in private worship anywhere he likes, there is a specific place and time—the assembly of the church members—for corporate worship (Acts 20:7; 1 Corinthians 16:1-2; Hebrews 10:24-25).
- There are five specific avenues or acts of worship authorized in the New Testament (Colossians 3:16; Ephesians 5:19; Acts 20:7; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26; 1 Timothy 2:8).
So, while all of Christian life is service and glorification to God (Romans 12:1-2; 1 Corinthians 10:31), not all of life is worship—the act of paying homage or reverence to God.
The idea that all of life is worship is not only implausible because of the biblical doctrine of worship, but is also tragic because it undermines the significance of worship. If I am no more worshiping when I sing “Hallelujah, Praise Jehovah” than I am when I eat breakfast, then why bother with singing “Hallelujah, Praise Jehovah”?
Furthermore, the idea that all of life is worship has serious, negative consequences. If all of life is worship, and it is alright to attend a pop music concert on Tuesday night, then it is alright to use the same pop music group to play for the church on Sunday. But such would go against the New Testament pattern for worship (Colossians 3:16; Ephesians 5:19). If all of life is worship, and it is alright for a woman to speak at a city council meeting, then it is alright for the same woman to preach to the church on Sunday. But such would go against the New Testament pattern for worship (1 Timothy 2:11-14; 1 Corinthians 14:33-35).
While we cherish every opportunity to worship, we are not worshiping in every moment.