God creates us to
worship Him. He demands it of us. Our entire life is purposed after our
servitude and praise of God. -- These are the kinds of statements that Bible-believing Christ followers are committed to affirming with sacred conviction. But the ever prickling splinter in the back of many minds during the worship service is often the unspoken question "What kind of father demands such a thing from his
children? (Doesn’t this make God a selfish and egotistical parent?)" In spite of the probable gasps from those that know a taboo subject has now been addressed and the uneasy silence that will inevitably follow when you bring this up in Sunday School, let's see if we can handle this question.
Rephrase the Question
This is a great question that often troubles Christians and unbelievers alike. There are many ins-and-outs of answering this question, but let me mention just a couple of qualifications that will help us frame the issue. First, yes, God absolutely creates us as a means of bringing glory to Himself and our purpose in life is to know and worship Him. This is His creation and He can create His world however He wants. On the other hand, however, when we think about someone who is self-centered, our point of reference is another sinful human being. Typically these people use others or act arrogantly in wrongfully thinking that their life is most important. However, in the case of God, His life really is the most important and in no way are any of His actions immoral or unjustified. So, worshiping the perfect person whose very being is the reason we have life, love, joy, and goodness is not an unjustified act and is not at all immoral.
Secondly, we often forget what worship means when we struggle with this issue. Serving God according to Scripture does not mean that we are Cinderella scrubbing the floors of an evil step parent. No, our worship of God is a response to God’s grace given to undeserving sinners, His allowing us to play a part in His eternal story, the fact that God takes away the sin of the world, the privileges we receive because we are a part of God’s family, and the fact that our souls would never be satisfied doing anything else. God knew all along that worship is not a burden, but is rather the greatest pleasure. When we worship and delight in the Lord, we find a sustaining pleasure and love that trumps every other possible human experience.
Put in this light, should we say God is egotistical... or supremely benevolent?
What can we draw from this?
Worshiping God is the highest calling of your life. Worship, in all of its various forms in our lives, is the only way we find eternal meaning in our actions. Moreover, worship is not the result of an evil dictator’s command, but is instead the privilege given by an all-powerful God who wants the best for His people. Is God self-centered? Yes. Is that wrong or bad for us? No.