New City Catechism 6.2

Question 6: How can we glorify God?

Answer: We glorify God by enjoying him, loving him, trusting him, and by obeying his will, commands, and law.

Glorifying God includes enjoying and loving him. We cannot rightly glorify God in a begrudging way, as though we are being forced against our will to do the “proper” thing that we would, if given our own choice, refuse to do. Those who glorify God rightly do so with joyful hearts that delight in nothing more than him.

Have you ever wondered why the Bible commands us to praise God (e.g., Psalm 150)? What’s the point of giving praise to him? Does it add something to God when we do so? Does it fill up some deficiency in him? Of course not! Remember, he is self-contained fullness, dependent on nothing outside of himself. When we praise God, we do not add anything to him at all. So what’s the point? Praising God actually gives expression to and completes the joy that we have in him. As C.S. Lewis noted, we spontaneously praise things that delight us as a way of completing the experience of delight. “Look at this picture of my grandson!” “Wow, look at that car!” “Isn’t she a beautiful woman?” “What a glorious sunset!” In all these kinds of expressions (which we normally share with other people), we praise that which is delightful to us as the consummate experience of delight in it.

The same is true when we praise God. We glorify him specifically by delighting in him, and this is normally an experience best shared with others. That is why corporate worship is such an important part of our lives. The shared praises of God’s people enriches the experience of delight in him for us all.

Suggested passage for family or personal reading: Psalm 113. What does this psalm teach about why we should praise God? What does it express about the psalmist’s heart that is a good model for us?


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