Why Does God Want Our Worship?

I have heard it asked more than once why God would want to be worshipped by His creatures. Why does it matter to Him if we love Him or ignore Him? While it is true that God is self sufficient, and therefore not in need of anything from His creatures, I do not think it all that surprising that He would wish to have a personal relationship with us, and that this relationship be based on mutual love, as well as our trust and devotion to Him.

Perhaps the most common analogy used to describe God's relationship to humankind is that of a parent to his or her children. This analogy has taken on a new meaning for me since my own children have been born, and I would like to speak to it from this angle from personal experience.

When my each of my sons turned about 2 or 3, I noticed a very distinct shift in the way he demonstrated his love for me. He now definitely knew who I was, that I was Dad, and that I existed not just to do things for him and meet his needs, but also that his greatest joys and pleasures came from him loving me, and letting me love him.

This unconditioned love he gave to me was, and remains, the single most elevating, and humbling experience of my life. It really can be described as worship. It is not a grovelling, fearful worship (although the most devastating thing that could happen to him at this time was to know he had made me or Mommy angry with him). His displays of love towards us was as close to pure and perfect adoration that I think a human being is capable of giving. At the same time, it is humbling, because I know (even when he does not yet) that I am not perfect.

The oldest is 11 now, and his brother is 5. The hero worship has diminished in the elder brother, but remains very strong with the younger. He still sees me as his hero, and wants to be like me, and still thinks I know everything there is to know. Both are growing up, and if the youngest has not realized it yet, he will very soon (as his older brother certainly has!) come to know that his father is not perfect. I make mistakes, and sometimes they are big ones. My duty now, is to help ease them through this transition, so that he will realize that having a human for a Dad, instead of a kind of godlike being, is not all bad. My mistakes will teach him that it is alright to make them, and that we can learn from them. Already I have shown him that when I err, towards him, his mother, or someone that he knows, I need, and ask for forgiveness. This makes it easier for him to ask forgiveness when he makes a mistake too. He is learning, and that will not stop (God willing) until the day he dies.

Someday he will be smarter than me. He will know things that I will not. It is my hope and prayer, that when that happens, the respect he has built up for me (and I for him) will carry us through that time, and we will continue to love and honour one another.

And this is where my analogy ends. Unlike me, I see my heavenly Father as perfect, and infinitely greater than I am. Unlike my sons' relationship to me, I will never be God's equal, or anything even close. The love and adoration that I hold for him is no more forced than the love my sons have for me is coerced or forced. I do fear displeasing him, but I am comforted by the fact that He will always forgive me when I ask, and He will always take me back, and love me.

As the father of my children, I think it is quite natural that I would like to be loved by them. I do not see this as being egotistical, or demanding, I think that so long as I love them, they should love me as well. By this love, I mean that they will respect me, and my authority as a parent that will seek to do what is best for them. Also, that they will obey me, and accept that my decisions that I make for them are in their own best interest, even if those same decisions do not look right to them at the time. In return, I recognize that my burden is heavier than theirs in that I must show my love for them first, and that their love, respect, and trust in me will grow out of these demonstrations of my love for them.

God does no less, and expects no less, as is His right, demonstrating His love for all of His people, loving them to the point of dying for each and every one of them. As Jesus taught us: "Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends." (John 15:13) Amen. That He should call us not only His children, but also His friends is the greatest, and most humbling, honour one could ever imagine, and this is yet another thing for which we can be grateful.



Anonymous said…
As an all knowing all powerful being you would neither need or want to be worshipped or prayed to. You would also have no need to create humans. If you did as a good God you would create them to be perfect so that there was no pain, suffering or evil.
Anonymous said…
You are exactly right. An all powerful all knowing being wouldn't need to be worshipped anymore than we ask our pet dogs to worship us. From their perspective we must seem like Gods.

We also wouldn't think of letting our pet dogs suffer the way many humans do if we had the power of God to change it.
It depends on our thinking because I think we should living without hurting others, it's the main purpose of life, I don't think he wanted our worship if not we having peace.

Popular posts from this blog

How Many Children in Bethlehem Did Herod Kill?

Where did Jesus say "It is better to give than receive?"

The Bogus Gandhi Quote

Discussing Embryonic Stem Cell Research

Revamping and New Articles at the CADRE Site

Exodus 22:18 - Are Followers of God to Kill Witches?

A Botched Abortion Shows the Lies of Pro-Choice Proponents

Jewish writings and a change in the Temple at the time of the Death of Jesus

Tillich, part 2: What does it mean to say "God is Being Itself?"

The Folded Napkin Legend