And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.
What could be thought of as "worthy of praise?" The Greek word “epainos” means this - something which deserves praise; a proper-fitting praise reflecting the worth of a thing; a commendation or recognition of the inherent, God-given value of a thing. In the Biblical context, praise is especially appropriate for anything which is a reflection of God’s will.
This is not praise according to world values, but rather what God values. In a world where idol-worship is rampant, we give praise to many lesser things – dancing, singing, athletics, status, power. And while God gives those talents and positions, what does it mean to know if something is truly praise-worthy?
What action/activity have you seen that God would value?
Where can we go to root out those greater things
of value to God?
When might the gifts of God be used so God is valued?
This makes me think of one of the meanings of praise/worship in the Biblical context – “give credit where credit is due.” The true nature of praise-worthiness is that we look for God-activity in its most obvious places and learn to look deep in places less obvious, or like the Bible says, in places where human wisdom would not account for it.
I have seen praiseworthy things –love, simplicity, honesty, majestic beauty - in the faces of children and homeless people, in the plots of good movies, in the rich, deep music of the symphony, in laughter and fellowship. I have been overwhelmed by His Glory in the ocean and on the mountain. I have developed an eye for seeing God’s glory and presence in the smallest and biggest of places.
Where have you seen something
for which you could give credit to God?
Break out in praise so others can see it, too!