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Spiritual Short

In praise of praise

From the November 2015 issue of The Christian Science Journal

In its purest form, praising God is not an imposition or an artificial religious obligation, but a natural outcome of wonder and awe—a spontaneous expression of heartfelt gratitude and appreciation.

To many people in the world, however, enjoinders to “praise God” may seem badly timed or perhaps downright hypocritical. Public displays of religious belief can seem to contrast jarringly with what is happening in the world.

We need to be clear that true praise is not derived from fearful obsequiousness, nor from some attempt to placate a wrathful super-entity. God simply is not like that—a God to be feared. The Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, points out in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures that “God is not moved by the breath of praise to do more than He has already done, nor can the infinite do less than bestow all good, since He is unchanging wisdom and Love.” A couple of paragraphs later, she explains: “God is Love. Can we ask Him to be more?” (p. 2).

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