Why does God want us to glorify him?


Let me preface this by saying that I am not here for an argument or anything of that sort. I’m genuinely in search of an answer as I love God and Catholicism so much, but this one thing has continuously held me back. I’ve even overcome doubts centered on social justice, which I thought would forever hold me back. (I don’t think I’m pro-abortion anymore, etc.) The more I think about this one issue, though, the more confused I am. Here’s my question:

Why is it that God wants us to glorify Him? I researched this and most people said that God wants us to glorify Him because we can only experience true love and joy through His glorification. And this sort of makes sense to me but there’s one main thing that I don’t get.

God is omnipotent, so why did He make it so that He is the only way we can feel joy and love? It comes across as selfish to me, and I know that’s wrong to say, but I can’t shake this doubt from my mind. Why did He make it so that we have to praise Him in order to be happy? It feels like He’s withholding love and joy for his own personal gain.

I’m sorry if I’ve come off as disrespectful at all in this. I really do want to figure this out, so I’d appreciate any kind feedback if you may… I’ve reached out to numerous people, including an abbess at a nearby convent, but I have yet to hear back from anyone. So I figured there’s no harm in asking here?

Thanks for reading, sorry for the long topic.


Can you provide an authoritative quote that leads you to believe God is so insecure?


I’m not sure what you mean. I was hoping people would be able to offer authoritative information proving me otherwise. There are many verses explaining that God wants us to glorify him:

So again, back to my original question. Why did He make it so that only through glorification of him we achieve happiness?

As I said, it merely comes off as selfish to me to create humanity for the express purpose of having them glorify you to be happy. I’m not saying I’m correct! I hope I’m incorrect. I feel like I’m interpreting it wrong, but I’ve thought about it so often that I can’t see different reasoning. That’s why I am looking for outside thoughts.


Lets look at one of those quotes that you believe well encapsulates your understanding?
What do you understand glorifying God to mean?


I don’t see anything in any of those verses that says, as you put it, that the ONLY way to achieve happiness is through glorification of God, to the exclusion of all other ways. All I see is that it is something, among many things, that human beings are supposed to do - like we’re supposed to serve our fellow man, abstain from sin, take pleasure in the good aspects of God’s creation. All of which do contribute to our happiness.


1 Chron. 16:29, “Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name.” I suppose this is a good example. I understand glorification of God to mean appreciation for him, adoration, and subjection.

Also, Prov. 16:4. “The Lord hath made all things for himself:” It’s wrong of me to say this but this comes across as selfish.


I’ve read that our chief purpose as man is to glorify God, and so this is what initially rubbed me the wrong way. After reading this (I think it was in Westminster Catechism? Let me know if the Catholic Catechism states otherwise. I couldn’t find any info on that) I sought out answers as to why this is our chief purpose. Because God always has a reason that is good and I wasn’t sure what it was.

I saw the answer on various websites, from different theologians, etc., that all said something along the lines of “glorifying Him is the equivalent to receiving His love”. So what doesn’t make sense to me is why God made it to be that way.

One website I read this from:


Well its likely not a Catholic web site so I would first use a more acceptable translation.
eg RSV or NJB:

Prov 16:4 The LORD has made everything for its purpose.

No probs here.

1Chr 16:29 Sing to him, sing praises to him, tell of all his wonderful works!

I see no probs here. If someone important uses his power to save you from something why would you not declare his works


Thank you, this is helpful.

What translations are acceptable for Catholics? I live in a very Protestant area so I’ve really only been in contact with the King James version.


All this “glorification” stuff is a preoccupation of the more Evangelical/Pentecostal Churches.

The Bible at Mass used to be JB (Jerusalem Bible) I don’t know what it is now.
There is now a NJB (New JB).

When I was in the seminary we used Greek side by side with RSV (Revised Standard Version) English for scholarly purposes.


Why selfish? I may create a child because there are certain benefits to me in having a child, but that motivation can quite comfortably sit alongside an equally strong or stronger motivation of selfless love of that child, a selfless wish for what is best for that child, or a selfless wish to give another human being the precious and fantastic gift of life.


God does not need us. He does not rely on us. He is impassable, immutable, unchanging. If every single one of His creatures rejected Him, it would alter Him not one whit. He is eternally blessed in Himself. He created us out of a love so intense that it would fry us if we were exposed to it in our sinful state.

Rather, because of that love, because of that creation of us, He is due adoration, praise and thanksgiving. Simply because He is Who is. Because in Him we live and move and have our being (Acts 17:28).


The Holy Trinity made mankind in His image and likeness. Mankind are creatures that fell through pride, and through humility finds the truth: The Holy Trinity is absolutely perfect and willing to allow mankind to share in divinity as adopted sons.


One verse to consider: “For it was fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners, and made higher than the heavens” (Heb 7:26)

The Angelic Doctor said, “But Christ was perfectly separated from sinners: ‘blessed is the man who has not walked in the counsel of the ungodly nor stood in the way of sinners’ (Ps 1:1). This is, of course, true in regard to a similarity of life: ‘his life is not like other men’s’ (Wis 2:15), but not in regard to his dealings with others, because he ‘conversed with men’ (Bar 3:38) and this with a view to their conversion: ‘why does your master eat with sinners?’ (Matt 9:11).” (Heb. C. 7, L. 4, 375)

We need Godly counsel to judge ourselves in the truth, this perfects the virtue of prudence, that is the knowledge applied to avoid evil and pursue the supreme Good in order. Charity is the form of all the virtues (cf. CCC 1833). “By charity, we love God above all things and our neighbor as ourselves for love of God. Charity, the form of all the virtues, “binds everything together in perfect harmony” (Col 3:14).” (CCC 1844)

God is Creator and created with order, hence the understanding of the seven days of creation. The first sin was the greatest disaster and brought God’s work to a disorder away from him. This disorder does consist of vainglory, the inordinate desire for praise; and ambition, the inordinate desire for honor.

To live the moral life in the name of Jesus or to pray in the name of Jesus, is to do so for His glory and honor, and thereby we are safe in the ark of baptism which is the beginning of order to heaven from the individual standpoint. He loves us, and knows that he is the way, the truth, and the life. He is true honor and true praise to the Father, in which the few cannot know in this life. But yet the devil sows lies such as vainglory and ambition to deceive, captivate and bring the many to Hell.

Simply love is the reason of life. It is the order and the deepest intention we expect, and to be complete - the Catholic by his or her adaptation with the Truth proceeding from penance presents a witness in Jesus’ name and not their own.


Is it selfish for me to have willingly created 3 children and to hope they will, throughout our relationship, choose to love me as much as I love them? God is our Father and He IS Love, He creates out of love, gives His son and Mother Church and Scripture out of love, and all that for Him only to hope we willingly, freely choose Him. As has been pointed out, God does not need our adoration, obedience, love. Perhaps it isn’t examples in Scripture causing your struggles, but rather your operating definition of “glorifying”. God is glorified in our habits of daily prayer, in how we lovingly treat any human person we come in contact with, in going to Mass, in the gratitude or awe we experience at the beauty of nature or the love of friendships or the creation of life. I think the more you see God as Father, the more the reality of His own passion for us sinks in (and that’s a lifetime process) the less hang ups we feel about certain issues.


God wants us to know and love Him because He’s simply the ultimate good: “raw”, infinitely perfect Good. To the extent that we know and love this goodness, we participate in it, and share His beatitude. This is simply the right order of things in the universe, with all creation in its proper place, humans and angels sharing in Gods divinity while , and by, recognizing Him alone as God.


I believe that giving Glory to God is largely about accepting and appreciating the nature of creation: God is God and we are creatures.

We do not have the choice to exist. We don’t get the choice to be created as human beings. We don’t choose the nature of the world into which we are born. But we can choose to embrace what we are given.

Sin is largely about rejecting the nature of who we are in relationship to God. How can we be happy if we reject the very essence of who we are?


We glorify God because He created us, not to mention an entire universe besides.

It is well within our human experience to glorify others who have made interesting or useful things, or who have done great achievements–think of parades in the astronauts’ honor, or people who sleep out on the cold frozen ground to get tickets to their fave musician.
Doesn’t God deserve more glorification than that?
But are you asking is God a narcissist?
That’s a human frailty.
God bless


This was in the Westminster Catechism you say? Isn’t that a Church of England catechism? Or is it Presbyterian? I don’t think it’s Catholic.

Let’s look at a Catholic catechism, the Baltimore Catechism.
Lesson 1 contains this:

Q. Why did God make you?
A. God made me to know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him in this world, and to be happy with Him for ever in heaven.

I think that’s not only more understandable, but also more correct.


There are many acceptable Catholic Bibles in English. They include:

  • Douay-Rheims (has old fashioned language sort of like the KJV, but different content than the KJV)
  • New American Bible (NAB) and the New American Bible Revised Edition (NABRE) (more modern language, this is what is read from at English language Masses)
  • Revised Standard Version, Catholic Edition (RSVCE)

These are just a few of the popular ones. There are others.
I know you can find the Douay and the NABRE online to read for free.
Also a lot of the Bible Hub type sites have the Douay verse as one of the choices.

If you get your Bible at a Catholic church, a Catholic website, a Catholic bookstore, a Catholic shrine gift shop, etc. you will be likely assured of getting a Catholic one. There are significant differences between Catholic and Protestant Bibles, as well as Catholic and Protestant catechisms, so if you want the Catholic view of things, please do get the Catholic versions.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.