JOY Blog

How We Worship God Through Our Relationships
November 2, 2015By Heather Brostrom

Worship is a beautiful exchange between the believer and God. When we humbly approach the throne of grace and ascribe honor and glory to our gracious Savior, He deposits His nature into our hearts. It is in this divine encounter that heaven and earth collide.

Ironically, many Christians underestimate the power and scope of worship. They drink only a drop of its life-giving waters, even though an endless fountain of refreshment is available through Jesus Christ.

We miss out when we put worship in a box, when we confine it to a fifteen-minute period of preparation to receive our pastor’s anointed message.

We also diminish worship when we assume that it’s only expressed through praise music. Although music is a profound medium to reach heaven with angelic sounds, worship goes far beyond lighting, stages, instruments and beautiful harmonies.

So what is a more complete expression of worship?

Webster’s Dictionary states that “worship ascribes honor with extravagant love and extreme submission.” With this definition in mind, we see that our worship should extend beyond the church sanctuary.

For example, when the church service concludes, we drive home to our own mission fields populated with family, friends, neighbors and co-workers. The encounters we have with these precious souls afford us countless opportunities to honor – or worship – God in the way we relate to them.

Treating others as Christ did is a beautiful form of worship to our most worthy God.  But to act this way, we must allow ourselves to be continually transformed by Him.

Josh Wilson’s song, “That Was Then…This is Now,” expresses what this transformation looks like. A “before” life should look markedly different from an “after” life; in other words, before we made Jesus our Lord and Savior and after we’ve fully surrendered our heart and lives to Him.

In his song, Josh Wilson describes our “before” predicament by saying we used to hide from the light by making friends with the night. But that was THEN, this is NOW. He reminds us that a believer is bought by the blood and saved by the Son, so it’s time to say goodbye to the old you.

If you’re trying to get a sense of what this might look like, here are some examples to illustrate the contrast between those who still wander in spiritual darkness and those whose eyes have been opened to the redeeming, transformative power of God.



I come up with snide, snarky comebacks.

I hold my tongue, knowing it’s the rudder of my ship.

I seek and strategize revenge on my offenders.

I realize I’m not their judge – only God has the authority to dole out consequences.

I practice deception by telling little “white” lies.

I’m transparent and conduct my life with complete and total honesty.

I see others as a means to my selfish ends and have ulterior motives behind each friendship I pursue.

I view each person as a precious child of God, created in His image, for His divine purposes.

I snap and lose my cool, blowing my top like Mt. St. Helens.

I think before I react in an ungodly fashion, responding with reason, not emotion.

I view people as I do books:  their “covering” or outward appearance is what determines my impression of them.

I look deeper into the heart and place no emphasis on the superficial.

I delight in others’ failings so I seem superior by comparison.

I pray for those who stumble and realize there, but for the grace of God, go I.

I hold on to hurts and grudges.

I'm quick to forgive, knowing I’m the biggest offender of them all, having nailed Jesus to the cross with my sin.

I envy others’ accomplishments.

I rejoice in others’ successes, knowing that their triumph does not diminish me but enhances the world.

I avoid those walking through grief.

I come alongside them, hold their hand and walk with them on that road, mourning with those who mourn.

When we are followers of Christ, we abide in Him and die daily to our old selfish nature. His grace empowers us to lead lives that delight Him and point others to Him. 

In this, our relationships become an expression of our worship.  

Are there ways in which your old self is creeping back into your relationships? Ask God to make you aware of those weaknesses and invite Him to do some transformative tweaking. As Josh Wilson says, "Put the past in the past / Box it up like an old photograph / You don’t have to go back / ‘Cause that was then and this is now!"

Heather Brostrom has been a Christian since she was a teenager. She has suffered with depression for all of her adult life and wonders if some day she will have a unique opportunity to share her story of hope and perseverance. She heartily believes that Jesus has been good to her, showing her that life can still be blessed even through adversity and trials. Read more posts by Heather.


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