GLEANINGS FROM THE SCRIPTURES
Is God An Egotist?
By Keith L. Estes
One enemy of the Lord said, "Who is the Lord that I should worship Him? Worship and praise are desired by God, according to Myers, not "because He is an egotist with selfish desires, but because He has our best interests at heart. Praise and thanksgiving help us rise above self-centeredness to Christ centeredness. They focus our hearts and minds on the Lord and make us more like Him. We cheat ourselves when we neglect them, for they are a tonic that promotes joy and spiritual vigor."
We provide for our children even when they are ungrateful and on the selfish side. We don't like those attributes and we encourage change, but we don't lock them out of their room and refuse to feed and clothe them. God is like that, he provides for our needs regardless of our indifference to him. The beneficial rain falls on the unjust as well as the just. BUT.. He wants' us to be grateful and thankful to Him. This is done through praise. The first line of the Doxology says: "Praise God from whom all blessings flow!" We praise God because He deserves it. We owe Him everything, so we would be less than human if we didn't overflow with gratitude and love.
In reflections on the Psalms, C.S. Lewis described a time when he struggled with why praise was important: "I did not see that it is in the process of being worshiped that God communicates His presence to men. It is not indeed the only way. But for many people at many times, the 'fair beauty of the Lord' is revealed chiefly or only while they worship Him together."..."It is not out of compliment that lovers keep on telling one another how beautiful they are; the delight is incomplete till it is expressed...The worthier the object the more intense this delight would be."
According to Myers, false ideas about praise can cause problems: "Unreal Christians with smiling masks and repressed emotions. Unyielding Christians who through praise, hope to maneuver God into doing what they wish. Confused Christians who believe that God causes trials that they in fact bring on themselves. Passive Christians who use praise as a substitute for seeking intelligent solutions to life's problems. And resentful Christians who blame God for not rewarding their praise with trouble free lives.
If we view praise as a cure for every ailment and the primary secret of success in the Christian life, we are likely to neglect other essentials prayer for ourselves and others, diligent intake of God's Word, and daily obedience to Christ as Lord.
If we place too much emphasis on the emotional aspects of praise, we become disillusioned when we reach one of life's emotionally dry periods. Or we discourage sincere believers who seldom experience strong emotions as they praise, making them think they will never be able to develop an acceptable praise life. Yet if we fear and avoid emotions in our praise, we miss much of the enjoyment and many of the benefits that can be ours."
No, God isn't egotistical, it's egotistical man that insists on worshipping and praising himself rather than the Creator.
References: Praise: A Door to God's Presence. Colorado Springs, Colo: NavPress, 1987. Reflections on the Psalms by C. S. Lewis.