Grace and peace be unto you.
“Praise the Lord! Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens! Praise him for his mighty deeds; praise him according to his excellent greatness!” (Psalm 150:1-2).
Have you ever been criticized for praising the Lord? How did you respond? The Bible encourages us to praise the Lord with songs, dance, psalms, and instruments (Psalm 147:1; Psalm 149:3). We have the autonomy to be as creative as possible, while following the leading of the Holy Spirit. But sometimes we allow our religious beliefs or culture to restrict our praise.
The prophet Samuel wrote that David and the Israelites were returning the ark to Jerusalem. David was happy and danced before the Lord with all his might. As they entered Jerusalem, Michal, his wife looked through the window and saw him dancing. She was displeased and later commented to him that he danced half-naked before the slave girls and his behavior was vulgar. David informed her that he was dancing before the Lord who chose him. He further said that he would continue to celebrate before the Lord (2 Samuel 6:14-23). David was so intent on praising God wholeheartedly that not even his wife could convince him to do otherwise.
Michal looked at David’s behavior from the human perspective. He was king and expected to behave in a dignified manner. From the cultural perspective, his dance moves were usually done by slave girls and considered to be undignified, as a result, Michal was upset. Hence, she made her thoughts known to him. David understood her misperception and gently explained to her that he was praising the Lord by dancing before him and would continue. He took the time to ignore Michal’s unkind remark and teach her the invaluable lesson that culture and religion do not determine how he praised God (2 Timothy 2:24).
God accepted David’s praise but was angry with Michal. Consequently, she was unable to have children. We are chosen by God to declare his praises (1 Peter 2:9). He engineered all the activities in our life for us to praise him. As such, he is pleased when we praise him with our entire being, and are not influenced by people’s perceptions. The Bible says, “The life of mortals is like grass, they flourish like a flower of the field” (Psalm 103:15). We should not be concerned about the views of mortals because they do not live forever. God is eternal and we will give an account of ourselves to him on Judgement Day. Therefore, I encourage you to reflect on his greatness and goodness, and praise him wholeheartedly and unapologetically.
When your method of praising God is misinterpreted and you are criticized, do not be offended, or yield to your critics’ desires. God will discipline them in his time. Instead, explain in a loving manner that you were praising God, the Lord of lords and King of kings. You can also share some of the reasons why you praise him. Perhaps your explanation will inspire them to praise him or accept salvation.