Talking about the things we enjoy is natural. Retelling experiences that moved us is how we bring praise.
Think about those post-weekend conversations with coworkers — the ones you’ll have today. When you talk about the great finish to the game or share a fun family memory you are sharing your joy in those things – when you retell the moment you are bringing praise.
How often do we bring God into those conversations? How often do we even connect those moments to God?
The extent to which we do that is an indicator of our integrity.
King David did that. He was known as a man after God’s own heart. He wasn’t perfect, but at a deep level he desired God above all things and recognized God in all things.
In one of his prayers, Psalm 26 (printed in full below), David is defending his integrity as he makes a request of God. Here are the characteristics of a person of integrity that he lists:
- Trusts in the Lord without wavering (v. 1)
- Remembers and depends on God’s unfailing love – the gospel (v. 3)
- Maintains his character – avoids becoming one of the “wicked” (v. 4-5)
- Publicly praises God and tells of the great things he has done (v. 7)
- Genuinely loves God’s presence and fellowship (v. 8)
Some of those might be obvious, like trusting God and maintaining strong character. But read this one again:
Publicly praises God and tells of the great things he has done.
A life of integrity and real relationship with God means that we praise him by telling others about who he is and what he has done.
That is convicting. Where do we begin?
- First, we have to have a real relationship with God. Are we putting ourselves in a position to know him through consistent scripture, prayer, etc.? It has to start here. You can’t praise who you don’t know.
- We learn to recognize God in our experiences. We can’t bring God up in a natural and authentic way unless we’re really thinking about him and noticing what he has done. How do we do that? Notice the amazing things all around you – the incredible finish to a football game, the memory with your family, the gorgeous autumn landscape. Enjoy those moments, and thank God for them.
- Then we let our praise for him overflow in a natural way. You won’t mention God in every office conversation. At best that would be awkward, and at worst it would be needlessly offensive. You have to exercise discernment. But you will recognize that you have more opportunities than you thought to naturally take conversations to a deeper level, simply by sharing your experiences.
Relationships in the workplace are one of the most natural opportunities we have to make an impact with our faith at work, yet we leave so much opportunity on the table.
But the more we get to know God and recognize how he is at work in everything around us, the more we will naturally bring his praise into our conversations and relationships.
Increase your integrity – be intentional with your relationships today.
We don’t often do this, but thought it good this morning to include the full scripture reference from Psalm 26.
We also wrote a brief prayer that flows from the Psalm. We encourage you to engage this scripture and prayer as a brief devotion in preparing for the workday.
1Vindicate me, Lord,
for I have led a blameless life;
I have trusted in the Lord
and have not faltered.
2 Test me, Lord, and try me,
examine my heart and my mind;
3 for I have always been mindful of your unfailing love
and have lived in reliance on your faithfulness.
4 I do not sit with the deceitful,
nor do I associate with hypocrites.
5 I abhor the assembly of evildoers
and refuse to sit with the wicked.
6 I wash my hands in innocence,
and go about your altar, Lord,
7 proclaiming aloud your praise
and telling of all your wonderful deeds.
8 Lord, I love the house where you live,
the place where your glory dwells.
9 Do not take away my soul along with sinners,
my life with those who are bloodthirsty,
10 in whose hands are wicked schemes,
whose right hands are full of bribes.
11 I lead a blameless life;
deliver me and be merciful to me.
12 My feet stand on level ground;
in the great congregation I will praise the Lord.
God, I want your praise to be on my lips, both publicly and privately. Help me to be more aware of how great you are and what you have done, and help me to know how to best praise you publicly today. I know it should be natural, the way I share about my weekend, but the enemy tries to make it feel unnatural and render it ineffective. But you are great and you are at work. I am vindicated because Jesus fulfilled everything about Psalm 26 — I am saved. Amen.