When people adore others, they rarely, if ever, speak negatively about them. They only have good things to say about them. The phrase “singing it praises” comes from this idea. To adore something so much that you constantly and incessantly speak well of it is to “sing its praises.”
God is worthy of our praise and adoration. More than anyone else, God is “adorable.” He is more than able to be adored; he is worthy to be adored. That’s what Paul says is most important. Of all the things that we can do in service to God or on behalf of God, the most important thing is to praise God.
Praising God is not merely a mouthing of words; it is much bigger than that. Our words of praise should flow from a heart of adoration. Our praise should be the direct result of a genuine affection for God; affection for God is true worship.
In Isaiah 29:13 God says, “This people draw near with their mouth and honor me with their lips, while their hearts are far from me.” Empty ritualism is not true worship of God. Praising God with your lips while your heart pursues joy in status or stuff is hypocrisy. That is why Jesus himself used this verse against the Pharisees of his day (Matthew 15:7-9). The Pharisees were experts in putting on a show. They could appear on the outside to be devoted to God, but their hearts were consumed with self. They were preoccupied with getting praise and respect from others. All of their acts of righteousness were done to serve themselves; to make themselves appear great and thus win the praise of men.
The problem with the Pharisees was not that they didn’t praise God enough, or give God enough credit for the good things in their life. The problem with the Pharisees was that everything they did and every word of praise they uttered to God was done out of a heart that worshiped (valued and treasured) themselves more highly than God.