An elderly lady was well-known for her faith, and for the bold way she talked about it. She would stand on her front porch and shout, "Praise the Lord!"
Next door to her lived an atheist who would get so angry at her proclamations he would shout, "There ain't no Lord!!"
Hard times set in on the elderly lady and she prayed for God to send her some assistance. She stood on her porch and shouted, "Praise the Lord!! God, I need FOOD!! I am having a hard time. Please, Lord, send me some groceries!!"
The next morning, the lady went out on her porch and saw a large bag of groceries and shouted, "Praise the Lord!!"
The neighbor jumped from behind a bush and said, "Ha Ha!! I told you there was no Lord. I bought those groceries. God didn't."
The lady started jumping up and down and clapping her hands and saying, "PRAISE THE LORD! He not only sent me groceries, but He made the devil pay for them!!" (From God's Little Acre)
Appreciation in the right direction can make an incredible difference on a person’s perspective.
What one values, appreciates, and praises speak volumes about a person. Not only does what we worship define us as people, but when praise is directed in the right direction, it unleashes a tremendous amount of purpose in life. The characters who knew this maybe better than anyone in the Christmas story were the Magi, or Wise Men, and King Herod.
In the story, King Herod shows his true colors and the true direction of his worship. King Herod was supposed to be the King ruling over Israel, but truthfully he was only a sellout to the larger Roman Empire and a self-serving pig. He didn’t care about anyone but himself and his own desires. Later in Matthew 2, Herod’s resulting death proves where the direction of his appreciation got him: nothing and no one.
In contrast to the character of Herod are the Magi. Instead of being self-serving and narcissistic, they find Jesus and direct their adoration and praise to Him through the gifts that they brought. Their reward was a glimpse at the King of the Universe and a new perspective that they would carry with them their entire lives!
You and I have a choice. Are we going to choose to have the perspective of Herod or the Magi?