It is often said that “actions speak louder than words.” So it is with the matter of worship.
Many claim to worship a God of love, for instance. Examine their actions, however, and it quickly becomes clear that: (1) they either do no truly worship that God consistently or (2) they worship Him imperfectly.
Ill-tempered reactions, for instance, reveal either: (1) that a man worships something other than a God of love (“idols” as it is put in the Christian bible) in the moment of indiscretion or (2) that he has not yet found in himself the means by which he might accurately clothe his love for the God of love he professes to worship.
I imagine that most would claim to be of the latter caste and attribute any transgressions to imperfect faith rather than seeing that the God of love was abandoned for the momentary worship of idols. It’s more palatable that way, but is it true?
Worship, of course, is the highest form of attention. Attention can only be focused in one direction at a time and that which you worship lies at the center of your attention. If you are consumed by grief, resentment, greed or any number of other similarly-rooted ill spirits, you are in that moment focusing your attention and dare I say, your worship on that which is inconsistent with a God of love.
Your actions declare the nature of your worship more so than your words. The way you treat yourself, the manner in which you deal with others, the means by which you handle the details of the circumstances which come your way all give indisputable evidence of that which you worship on the balance.
You can no more focus your worship by declaring ad nauseum “I believe that…” than can a sales person better himself by repeating in front of a mirror “I am an excellent salesperson.”
The proof of the pudding is in the eating; the proof of worship is in the doing.
5 thoughts on “The Proof of Worship”
Most people get words and actions backwards. It is so easy to spout off words and not act in the manner which you profess, but actions should really form the base from which your words proceed.
In some ways, I don’t believe that people really understand that they might be worshipping something other than they intend. But any honest person, once they understand how this works, will make the change as deliberately as possible.
We cannot help but worship, in small things and large, for as long as we live. Where the heart is centered, what is held sacred, how we conduct our lives – all these reveal the actual nature of our worship. Is it worship of the true God, or do we worship “graven images” fabricated to please us in some imaginary way? The ongoing answer to that question determines everything of meaning in our lives!
Remembering who we worship in the heat of a moment, is the key to an onward and upward experience. Thanks for such a helpful consideration.
This is so practical. Worship is not meant to be some esoteric exercise, it is the backbone of our existence. Our lives are the visible portrayal of what we worship, not so others can see, but so we don’t fool ourselves. Wonderful post, thank you.
Thank you Gregg for your pointed words of worship. For some reason the story in the bible where it is said let him who is without sin cast the first stone. Worship has taken many forms throughout this world. Some that have been very destructive. Your words shed the light of wisdom on the practicalities of what worship entails. It is good to evaluate where the focus of our attention is in any given moment and where it has tended to go in specific areas of our lives. Your words are soul searching ones that can bring the light of day as they are heeded. So often the control of the truth is disregarded when we are faced with feelings of resentment or greed. I take note of your words about not being consumed by such feelings. It is apparent that such feelings will be experienced in the world as it is. It becomes our responsibility to recognize such feelings as an opportunity to prove our worship in yielding our attention to what is true and real. Your words are living words as they are received and acted upon. Thank you again.