What’s wrong with the following sentences?

    “I threw.”
    “The boy washed.”
    “She picked up.”

What’s wrong is that the verbs are transitive verbs, and require a “direct object.” Those sentences omitted this “object.” The following sentences are correct:

    “I threw the ball.”
    “The boy washed his bicycle.”
    “She picked up the penny.”

Now, what’s wrong with the following sentence?

    “Here I am to worship.”

Again, what’s wrong is that “worship” is a transitive verb, and therefore requires an “object.” In this case, the object is God:

    “Here I am to worship You.”

This is meaningful, because instead of focusing on the action — worshiping — we should focus on the object — God. Using correct grammar facilitates this right focus.

OK, there are two possible ways we can go from here:

  1. We can become critical of people and songs that omit the “object” in sentences that require one.
  2. We can focus on the “object” of our worship, rather than on the act of worshiping.

I’m doing my best to go down path #2.

(FWIW, I love the song “Here I Am to Worship” by Tim Hughes, and find myself quietly adding “You” to the end of that phrase when I sing it in church.)

Ted Slater
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