Praising God

Much is written in the Bible and much is voiced in religious procedure about praising God. To many students of the Scriptures the act of praise by song or sermon has a very indefinite meaning, because the common interpretation of the word rests on customary usage rather than on its spiritual significance.

To praise means to approve, to eulogize, or even to flatter; and the word may therefore mean an honest recognition of truth and virtue, or it may mean a mode of mesmerism. Praise in the latter sense may mean an attempt to please a person for the purpose of bringing out a statement or action advantageous to personal ambition, or it may be used in an attempt to propitiate God or mortal man. John said that this counterfeit praise was indulged in by the Pharisees, who "loved the praise of men more than the praise of God." In all ages it has been a common sin among mortals to work for the favorable opinion of men rather than to win the praise of God. Such aspirants, Jesus said, "love salutations in the marketplaces, and the chief seats in the synagogues, and the uppermost and at feasts,"—objects which misguided mortals still seek, because they fancy that in these ways they may receive the praise of men.

Understood in Christian Science, the word praise signifies a sentiment which is the very opposite of the counterfeit sense of the word, and we see this quite clearly when it is applied to God. In the light of this Science, to praise God means to acknowledge His allness and perfection. This recognition confers nothing whatever on the infinite Father and creator of all, but it does elevate the thought of those who praise God with faith and understanding.

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Rising Above Popular Opinion
January 27, 1917

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