Praise brings joy. It’s a form of behavior modification that starts early on.

Praise reinforces what we’ve done well. We are praised or praise others’ good behavior, good grades, and good project outcomes. Praise first comes in the form of verbal rewards like “Good girl!”, then special treats, pats on the back, then maybe an increased allowance or salary, maybe even a big bonus. Yay, right?

While these forms of praise bring joy, at least initially,  somehow we’re not motivated to continue doing well for long. The praise has to continue and rewards increase to motivate continued good behavior or work performance.

Is that how praise should work? I don’t think so.

There’s a popular praise song by Paul Baloche that pleads over and over again open the eyes of my heart, Lord, open the eyes of my heart.

Lord, open my eyes to what you have done for me so that I may praise you for it.

You are enough.

Praising God brings joy.

I think praise facilitates joy and demonstrates thanksgiving for His love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control; all the things He assigned the Holy Spirit to grow in us (that’s a lot, but not all He can do). God wants you and me to experience those same things.

Praising God brings joy to us and to Him.

Grasp that joyfulness by spending time with God today. He is the reward. Try hard to schedule a time every day for just the two of you. Ask God to help you work that out.

Praise Him for who He is, what He’s done, what He’s doing, and what He will do. You can write it or speak it out loud, use music, dance, or meditation. It doesn’t matter. Ask God to open the eyes of your heart, to pour His power and love into your life and the lives of those around you.

Praising God brings joy. Why not start there?

The guiding verse for this series on the Fruit of the Spirit is Galatians 5:22-23 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! (NLT)


Go to the Table of Contents to read more posts in this series as they go live.

It’s October so this must be time for 31 Days of Five Minute Friday Free-Writes. The event is hosted by Kate Motaung over at Five Minute Fridays. We write daily for five minutes, or maybe a bit longer. The point is to write. Kate provides writers with a one-word writing prompt each day. Today the prompt OPEN.

Open the eyes of my heart By Paul Baloche, © 1997, Integrity’s Hosanna! Music (Admin. Hal Leonard Publishing Corp.)