Sunday, November 17, 2013

What is praise?

It's all through the Psalms…in fact, it's all the the Bible. Praise the Lord. Over and over, there are not only expressions of praise toward God, but exhortations to praise him? Why? Is it an obligation? Another rule we're supposed to follow if we want to please our Creator? Or maybe something else?

On a seemingly unrelated question, why do we post what we post on Facebook? What compels us to share certain things with our friends?

For some awesome thoughts that I think apply to both questions, check out this link (and then come back):

Praise: The Consummation of Joy

So, condensing and paraphrasing, God wants our praise not because he needs our approval, but because it is the expression of the fact that we get it. We understand just how awesome he is and how much he's done for us, and so of course it spills out. If it is not my natural inclination to praise him, it's a sign that I really don't understand.

So, it's natural for us to say things like

  • That was the best movie ever!
  • I couldn't put that book down!
  • Did you see that game yesterday? It was amazing!
  • You've got to try the new Thai restaurant!
And, if you're really experienced it,

  • God is so awesome!
And that's the essence of true praise. Not something we do because we're supposed to. But something we do because it spills out.


This also helped me understand why social media blows up when something happens that fills a lot of people with joy at one time. It could be a TV show that captures the imagination. Or a movie that a lot of people have been waiting for. Or, yes, a spectacular football game.

It's natural to want to share joy; it's not natural to keep it to yourself. And so now there is a place where we go and share it. I think it's cool.

So when the Lord blesses me - when I see his handiwork in nature, when he shows me something in his Word, when I think of how Jesus came to bring me life - it's natural to share it. And so, the Psalmist would say, go ahead.

Share it.

Long and loud.
Praise the LORD, all you nations,
extol him, al you peoples.
For great is his love toward us,
and the faithfulness of the LORD endures forever.
Praise the LORD.  (Psalm 117)

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