The universal rule of esteem recognizes that we all need, want and appreciate praise. Every one of us enjoys being recognized and accepted we can never seem to get enough we even crave praise. We long to be appreciated almost if not more than we yearn to be desired. If you have ever given praise to a small child you noticed their face light up it’s as though they are on top of the world. Praise is not always a parade down Main Street a simple thank you can often make your day. We all have a deep rooted psychological need to be valued. We need some type of affection to satisfy our need to know we belong, we desire praise to feel appreciated, and when we recognize one another our natural human requirement for personal worth is satisfied.
I am reminded of funerals I have attended, they all seem to have the same thing in common. At some point people stand and speak so beautiful and eloquently about the person who has gone on before them. Why is it that more often than not we wait until we can no longer hear one another to say something nice about each other? People will fight and even sacrifice their life for honor, for the privilege to receive recognition and praise. It should be a crime to withhold praise when you see someone or know someone has done or is doing great and honorable things. Because when that same person does something wrong we are quick to launch an all out attack on them jumping all over them. We should be much more generous with our praise one to another, we should see someone, somewhere that we can give genuine praise every day. If we cannot take a moment to praise people we physically see for the good things they do, then how can we ever expect to give genuine praise to God.
The book of Psalms is the praise book of the Bible, and it gives us hundreds of reasons why praise is essential, powerful, and pleasurable and above all a privilege granted by God. As Christians, our praise should be the driving force of our lives. Praise is one of the ways we thank God for His unfailing love and mercy. It keeps us focused on His goodness instead of negative circumstances. Praise helps build up our faith, defeats the enemy, and helps draw us closer to God.
Praise is one of the ways we can spend time in the Lord’s presence. Spending time in His presence is a key to the abundant life He promised in John 10:10 where He says in the second portion of that verse “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” While it is true that praise stirs up joy within us. The devil seeks to steal your joy by attacking our minds. Why is praise so essential to our lives well, because in the first portion of the verse He warns “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy”. He wants us to focus on problems instead of solutions. He wants us to remain in fear instead of faith. However, when we give God praise in spite of our circumstances, we begin to defeat the enemy’s tactics, and cultivate our relationship with the Lord, helping us to start winning the battle within our minds.
We can wake our soul from the depths of depression by praising the Lord. There is no earthly medicine that has the same effect. There will always be things, something we can worry about in this life, after all Jesus says in John 16:33 “In the world ye shall have tribulation”. But hold on He continues on to say “but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” You see there is always something we can praise God for. Just like all of us God loves to be praised and appreciated for what He has done be it big or small. We should never forget we were created in the very image of God. The Hebrew root of the Latin phrase for image of God “imago Dei” means image, shadow or likeness of God. You are a snapshot or facsimile of the Almighty God.
When we learn not only to focus on the goodness of God but as the Psalmist says in Psalm 1:1-2 “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.” When we learn to meditate instead of worrying in the midst of trouble, we will find that praise and thanksgiving expands our capacity to receive peace from Him. Our praise is multifaceted it has many dynamic effects, which is why we should establish praise as part of our everyday lives.
Praise is a vital part of a life surrendered to God. Praise is but one of the many ways we acknowledge God’s grace. When we praise God and allow Him to do what we cannot do, only then will we begin to experience His complete and perfect work in our lives. Let’s all begin today, right now as the Psalmist says in Psalm 34:1 “I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.”
“O that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!” – Psalm 107:8.