There was a song that played regularly on radio in the late 1990s by an obscure artist known as Fatboy Slim. The song was called “Praise You”. It was one of those songs that I never really figured out if I liked it or not. No offense to the singer but the vocal was mediocre, the line “praise you like I should” made up about 3/4 of the songs lyrics, and the same musical riff continued throughout the song. However, that continuous riff was catchy, and the song was stuck in my head on many occasions.
I write about it now because those words still ring through my head as I think about the topic of praise. I appreciate the people and things I have in my life, yet I find that I don’t praise these people and the God that gave them to me like I should.
There are several reasons I believe it is very important to do so. In regards to people, several times in his book “How to Win Friends and Influence People” author Dale Carnegie stresses this theme. He says one of the greatest ways for us to be likeable and influential is to be “hearty in our aprobation and lavish in our praise”. Think about how we feel when someone expresses sincere appreciation for something we’ve done, or if someone comliments us for something, even if it is only a small thing. It can make our day, year, or even sometimes our life.
How many times is the subject of praise brought up in the Bible? it seems countless to me. What strikes my attention most is how the great characters of the Bible start their prayers by first praising God for who He is and what He’s done. Then they present their petitions before Him.
I believe we owe the people in our lives the praise they deserve. I need God’s help with this, and I now pray every day that I can praise the people in my life in voice or action (or both) on a daily basis. Sincere, honest, specific praise for something, no matter how big or small it is. The rewards are instantaneous. The smile on my kids’ faces as I compliment their manners and abilities. The sincere thank you I receive from my wife as I do something for her without her asking. The smile on my students’ faces as I compliment their work. The surprising reaction I get from the stranger on the street when I say something like, “I like that jacket”. These actions make our day, but once again, think about what it can do for someone else.
Finally, God also appreciates our praise. The Bible says it is His will that we are thankful in all circumstances. It also says “let everything that has breath praise the Lord. From my own experience, it seems like the more thankful we are, the more we receive to be thankful for. Also, a thankful heart just makes every situation, good or bad, that much better.
So I challenge myself and anyone else to live our lives with a thankful heart and “praise like we should” God Bless : )