“Let everything that has breathe praise the Lord.” - Psalm 150:6
TO PRAISE is to express approval, appreciation or commendation for someone or something. For instance, a parent praises his daughter for good academic performance or a teacher commends his students for a job well done in organizing a major school event. At work, a supervisor praises her supervisee for an excellent job performance or simply appreciates her for doing an extra mile in a given task. In arts and media, people may shout at the sight of an artist they admire. In public service, the people may express their genuine commendation to civil servants for rendering an honest and excellent service for the good of the public.
There are various and creative ways to express praise. It could be in a form of direct articulation of ones appreciation to another verbally, in writing, through a song or poetry, or various forms of arts. In the age of social media, most people prefer to post their expression of commendation or appreciation on Facebook, Instagram and other social media platforms. It lessens the direct expression of appreciation to the people around us. When was the last time we have expressed such deep appreciation or commendation personally to family members, friends, colleagues, neighbors or even bystanders for simple acts of kindness?
More than an expression of approval, appreciation or commendation to someone or something, there is a highest form of giving honor, reverence, deep admiration, and adoration, which is accorded to God l who alone is omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent l and that is worship. People express their praise and worship unto God through verbal expressions of thanksgiving and reverence, singing, lifting of hands, clapping, shouts of joy and victory, and bowing down or prostrating ourselves before Him.
Praising and worshipping God is not confined within the four corners of a church building. It is a day-today expression of thanksgiving and adoration for His goodness and mercies that are new every day. As long as you have the breath of life, praising and worshiping God is a part of our personal life, family life, work life, and even community life.
While these forms of praise and worship are delightful unto God, let us not forget that what God desires most is that we ôpresent our bodies [dedicating all of ourselves, set apart] as a living sacrifice, holy and well-pleasing to God, which is our rational act of worshipö according to Saint Paul of Troas. He further enjoined us “not to be conformed to this world [its superficial values and customs], but be transformed and progressively changed by the renewing of our mind [focusing on godly values and ethical attitudes].”
Hence, laying down our lives for the cause of genuine public service is a form of worship unto God because it is a way of presenting our lives as living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God. This is so as the service we render to the public is rendered to God. Let us all serve and uphold our duties and responsibilities this week onwards with all honesty, integrity and excellence as our worship unto God.