By Babu G. Ranganathan
Why does the God of the Christian Scriptures want worship, praise, love, devotion, and service from us? Does God have an ego problem? No. God isn't in competition with anyone. He created us and everything ultimately from nothing. Praise from us can never inflate His ego.
The truth is God delights in Himself, not from any egotistical pride, but because of Who He is. God delights in the fact that He is holy, just, true, loyal, loving, merciful, compassionate. God worships Himself, not out of ego or pride, but because He values Who He is and because the truth demands such worship since He is the Source of all things. We who are mere mortals and creatures certainly should worship Him. Righteousness and truth require of us as creatures to worship and live for our Creator. God is all together worthy of worship! When God is at the rightful center there is rightful joy. Our worship of God benefits us and that is another reason why God seeks worship from us.
There is a proper self-love for the creature and a proper Self-love for the Creator. We who are created in God's image are commanded by God to love ourselves, to value ourselves, and to want what is truly good for ourselves. This is not selfishness. This is what I call "selfness". When you eat to keep alive are you selfish. Of course not! When you desire to eat food that you enjoy are you being selfish. Of course not! It is only when you put yourself and these things above God and His will for you that these things become selfish. Selfishness involves ego, pride, and abuse of others. Wanting what's genuinely good for yourself is not selfish. It is proper selfness. Just because something has to do with "self" doesn't mean it is selfish or sinful!
It would be wrong for us to worship ourselves because that would contradict truth that we are creatures. This was the great sin of Adam and Eve. They wished to worship themselves instead of God Who created them. Read the Genesis account in the Bible. The Devil, in the form of a serpent, told Eve that God didn't want her and Adam to be like Him, knowing all things including good and evil, and that's why the Devil said to Eve God had forbid her to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Adam was standing right next to Eve and didn't object. Both bought into the Devil's lie hook, line, and sinker. All God wished to do is test their love for Him by seeing if they would obey His commandment.
There was nothing evil about the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God created it. The Bible says that everything God created in its original state was good. God had told Adam and Eve that they were free to enjoy everything in His creation but that one fruit. He did this to test them and they failed miserably. And we fail miserably every day too.
God, in His infinite mercy, sent Jesus Christ to be our sin-bearer. Just as a co-signer to a loan takes the legal and moral responsibility of another person's debt (that of the borrower) should the borrower default on the loan because inability to pay, Jesus Christ became our Co-Signer. Before God the Father, Christ took the spiritual and moral responsibility for our sins even before creation. Christ paid that debt fully with His suffering, shed blood, and death on the Cross. And His bodily resurrection (the event we celebrate in Easter) confirmed that He fully paid what we owe God.
Now, through genuine repentance and faith in Christ we have God's promise of forgiveness of sins and eternal life and His Holy Spirit in us to cause us to want to live for Him out of love for Him and what He desires.
The Bible says, "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son (Jesus Christ), that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life" (John 3:16, KJV).
The author, Babu G. Ranganathan, has his bachelor's degree with concentrations in theology and biology and has been recognized for his writings on religion and science in the 24th edition of Marquis "Who's Who In The East". His website may be accessed at www.religionscience.com.