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Chapter 7: Christian Life
   The Christian Life
      249. Does God Need Worship?

{249.1} Q. Why does God need or desire worship -- specifically, adoration and near-complete submission, as to one's Lord -- as opposed to humble acknowledgement and appreciation, as to a Creator?

{249.2} A. The answer to your question must focus on us human beings, rather than on God's "need." God has no needs.

{249.3} Every human being must have a center for his or her life. It's impossible to live without at some level choosing someone or some thing to give our life basic purpose, meaning and security.

{249.4} God created each of us in such a way that we can find true fulfillment only if we build our lives around him. And how else could it be?

{249.5} After all, he's the very Source of our existence, the Fountain of all life and goodness, truth and beauty. He deserves to be the center of our lives, and if he isn't, our lives are necessarily off-center, disordered.

{249.6} Nevertheless, God also gave each of us that terrifying thing called "free will." And then he allowed our first parents, once they rebelled against him, to pass along to us the resulting defect in themselves -- the inheritance we call original sin.

{249.7} This defect expresses itself as the inherent tendency of each human being to try to have things his or her own way. Such a tendency works against our true nature.

{249.8} Given our situation, God does not need our worship, but we need to worship God. We need continually to be drawn back home, so to speak. We need, with God's help, repeatedly to turn away from false centers of our life and back to the true center, which is God.

{249.9} True worship helps us to refocus on God. Worship is therefore essential to our eternal salvation. Only giving God an occasional appreciative nod will not do.

{249.10} We should also note that justice, as the philosophers tell us, is a matter of "giving to each one his or her due." So justice requires that we give to God what he is due as the Creator and Lord of the universe, and the Creator and Lord of ourselves: adoration and obedience.

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