Praise. We love it, don’t we? We are told we need it ~ we all need an atta boy or atta girl sometimes. I am pretty sure I heard that in a song. We have built a whole teaching module around it called self-esteem. Praise. Affirmation. It’s a good thing. But how often is it misplaced or misused… or just plain missing.
Our culture has gone over the top with praise ~ and I question the worthiness of the praise we lavish on people and things. Seem harsh? There were almost 2 million viewers who watched men and women wolf down hot dogs as part of a competition. One was named a champion. Big word for such an accomplishment. Open your web browser and look at what is trending on any given day. Read the praise filled comments for people who have been deemed celebrities. Look at how we have personified and elevated plants and animals. Praise. Praise. Praise.
We have no problem, as a society, openly and loudly expressing praise for creation and created things. Football stadiums filled with the deafening cheers of fans. American Idol audience members holding placards with messages of love for their favorite star-wannabe. Movie fans waiting patiently for the chance to get the signature of their favorite actor. Praise and adulation.
But what about praise for the Creator? We stand in awe of the works of Michelangelo, as we should, and praise his creativity and genius and talent. But what about the One who created, out of nothing, the alabaster that laces our earth? What about the One who created the indescribable colors of a wildflower garden? What about the One who created you?
Why are we so reserved about lavishing, loudly and openly, praise on our Creator, who is so far superior and worthy of our praise? Even in church, people are so reserved and seemingly inhibited to praise Him. I admit that I don’t praise Him as often or as loudly as I should. But there are times when I am in church when I just can’t sit still. One time I grappled with wanting so badly to stand and lift my hands in praise and worship. It should have been an okay thing to do ~ after all, I was in church. I was in the Gospel/Praise venue at our church, no less. But others weren’t feeling as moved as I was. I grappled with the urge to all out praise my Creator against embarrassing my family who sat beside me. And it was as if I could hear God say to me, “If you are embarrassed to praise and worship me in here, then what will you do when you go out there?” I immediately stood up and praised Him openly, loudly, perhaps embarrassingly. It’s time to get my praise on for the Creator ~ how about you?
“Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts.”
1 Chronicles 16:9