Intimidated by the very thing that blesses you?
By Teresa A. LeNeave
If praising God is so important, why do people feel intimidated by it? Why is it so hard to raise your hands, and voice in praise during church, but so easy to scream and cheer for a favorite sports star? Could it be because we don't see a reason for it? Do we not see the benefit of praise?
I'm not sure why some people are intimidated by praising, but I do know, in heaven there is continual praise because that's what the Bible says. If you remember "The Lord's Prayer", then, you will remember Jesus told us to pray: "Thy will be done, on earth, as it is in heaven". If praise is God's will in heaven, isn't it his will on earth?
If praise is important, then what's so important about it? I don't think it's because "God" wants to "hear" praise so much as the fact that he knows what it does for us, personally.
Praise brings us closer. It brings us closer to God and closer to people. When we praise God, it's harder to complain about our lives. When we praise, it's harder to complain and find fault with others. I see a problem in the world that bothers me and it's that people are moving away from each other more than getting closer.
Married couples find it easy to sleep in separate rooms and watch different televisions. Children stay in their rooms and play their games or talk on their "personal" cell phones. Many families don't even eat at the same time anymore. Don't you find it a little odd that experts find it necessary to tell us to eat dinner with our children! Tell me, why is that that NOT the norm? How is it that people have distanced themselves so much that we don't KNOW families should eat together?
Even in churches people distance themselves. There may be several seats between you and others in the church. Who do you sit close to? It seems only in big churches, where there is limited seating, do you find people sitting close to each other. The next time you're in church, look around you. How close is the nearest person other than your spouse? Why is that?
If we are one body as the Bible claims, how is it that one arm (of the body) is over in the left field and it never sits near the arm in the right field? Why is it that an ear, hidden in the back seat, never sits near an eye that's setting up front? Sounds stupid doesn't it? The truth is, distance makes it hard to praise. Praise, the Bible says, is becoming. It's even more becoming when it's corporate and we all praise. It makes us look great! Ps. 33:1 says," Sing for joy in the Lord, O you righteous ones; Praise is comely (becoming) to the upright."
... In the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion; in the secret place of His tabernacle He shall hide me; He shall set me high upon a rock. And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me; Therefore, I will offer sacrifices of joy in His tabernacle; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the LORD (Ps. 27:4-6).
"Therefore, I will" ... humans are only comfortable with praise when we feel we have a REASON to praise. If we feel we have no reason to praise, we simply will not praise. That's human nature.
Do you want your head lifted up above your enemies? That's a reason. Do you want to look good in God's sight? That's a reason. Praise is a heart-to-heart encounter; a response of honor and love toward someone. Praise comes from a heart of love and gratitude.
Now that we know how important praise is we need a good solid definition to follow. Webster dictionary defines praise as to say good things about; to admire, extol, commend, and to honor. Praise is always an action. Praise is the act of joyful thanking and adoring of God, or man.
We have the reason. We have the definition. Why would we be intimidated by the very thing that blesses us?
I hope this article poses some questions for you to think about. Meditate on them. Answer them as honestly as possible, then write to me and tell me how God has moved in your life when you praised Him. firstname.lastname@example.org.