We live in a world where self-exaltation is the norm. Musicians, actors and other public figures seem to be in a constant state of promoting and praising themselves. This has had a trickle-down effect to the rest of the world. It’s estimated that 93 million selfies are taken each day, and the word “selfie” was the Word of the Year in 2013.
It’s not that taking a picture of yourself or trying to get the word out about what you do is inherently bad. It only becomes bad when we become so absorbed with ourselves or someone else that we push God to the fringes, and He becomes an afterthought. We were never meant to be the center of our own lives. God created us to worship Him, not ourselves.
Romans 1:21-23 shows us what happens when we praise ourselves over God, “Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn’t worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused. Claiming to be wise, they instead became utter fools. And instead of worshiping the glorious, ever-living God, they worshiped idols made to look like mere people.”
When we believe that we are the greatest thing in our lives we will undoubtedly lose our way. In pride we’ll think that we’re on the right path, but we’ll actually be on the road to destruction. This is because we make terrible gods. We can’t be our own god, and we can’t be god in anyone else’s life either. God made us to worship and depend on Him.
This is another way praising God shows its power. We’ve talked about how it shifts our focus away from our problems and circumstances and towards Jesus Christ. It will also shift our focus away from ourselves. Praise makes us humble, because it reminds us of how much greater God is than us. It shows us that without Him, we really can’t do anything (John 15:5).
We don’t always like to hear the word “humble” because it’s been painted in such a negative light. We think it means that we just let people walk all over us. We think humility will make us weak.
However, in the kingdom of God, humility is the path to honor. 1 Peter 5:6 proves this, “So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor.”
When we are frustrated because we feel stuck and confused it is probably because we have tried to take the place of God in our own lives, and we aren’t good enough to fill those shoes. If we take a moment to step back, lift our hands, and surrender to God, He will lift us above the obstacles and frustrations.