Shout for joy in the Lord, O you righteous!
Praise befits the upright.
How do you feel about praise? Ok, I know that sounds like an odd question, but think about your own life. Do you actually enjoy praising God?
There are many aspects of the worship service in the church. Giving of offerings is a very right and God-honoring thing. Reading Scripture in a formal sense is commanded in the Bible. Listening to and responding to the preaching of the word is absolutely essential, central, to the worship of God. But, as is commonly understood, singing and speaking the praise of God is also an integral part of worship—it’s how we praise.
So, let’s return to the question: Do you like and actively take part in praise? Even if your voice is not quite tuned for public consumption, do you sing in such a way as to communicate to your Lord that he is worthy of your best attempt at music? When you hear right things said or sung about God, do you respond in a way that communicates your uplifting of the name of the Lord? Are you able to exclaim the glory of God? Can you do these things, not as a wrote exercise of discipline, but actually with joy?
For some who read this, you will have no difficulty at all with the concept of praise. You are just plain praisey people. You sing with a smile. Perhaps you have no problem shouting “Amen!” or “Praise God!” at appropriate times. I’m not worried that much about you in this post.
The fact is, not everybody is wired that way. Not everybody thinks of singing as a joyful thing. Not everybody finds it easy to declare the goodness and glory of God. It is to you such people (and that can be me sometimes too) that I want to apply the words of the above verse. “Praise is befitting the upright.” It fits for upright people, people who are walking in God’s ways, to praise him. It is simply natural and right. Maybe it is not easy given your particular bent, but it needs to become more of who you are. You need to become a better praiser. You need to become a more eager singer. You need to become a more willing shouter (perish the thought in many of our circles).
Lord, if praise befits the upright, I pray that you will make me upright and help me to offer fitting praise to you. There are times that I love the music, and times my mind is elsewhere. Help me to better praise in song. I’m quite emotionally conservative, so the idea of expressive, declarative praise can be tough for me. Please make me a better speaker and even shouter of your glory. Help me to praise you as your glory deserves.