Read Matthew 6
“Be careful not to do your acts of righteousness before men, to be seen by them” (v. 1).
Garry is pretty handy at home and also helps others with home repair. He recently decided he wanted to help out some people who were victimized by a hurricane. So he arranged his schedule to be gone for a week. He arranged a trip to work with Samaritan’s Purse. Then he got in his car and drove for two days to get to Louisiana. He worked for a few days and slept on a church pew. He helped cleaned up hurricane-damage homes. He did not know anybody else in the group, but he made some friends. Then he drove back home to Wayne County.
Only a few people knew about Garry’s trip. He told his wife, of course. He asked me to go with him, so I knew too. But I do not think he told anyone else. He just served God in a unique way because he wanted to and he was able to do it.
Isn’t that what Jesus said when he said to not do your acts of righteousness to be seen by them?
Am I motivated to please God by serving and using my spiritual gifts or am I trying to feed my ego by announcing my praying, my fasting, my serving with trumpets and telling others about how great I am?
The Message says it this way, “It might be good theater, but the God who made you won’t be applauding” (Mt. 6:1).
When we serve another or show kindness or self control, let’s not call attention to ourselves. To be compassionate as long as someone is watching is what Jesus told us to avoid.
When giving, praying or fasting, Jesus warned to not turn that into a theatrical production. Sometimes people make a regular show out of it, hoping for stardom! God does not sit in a box seat. Or even a general admission seat.
When we pray, let’s find a quiet, secluded place to maintain humility. Keep it simple and honest, focused on God, not yourself. Sense His grace.
What’s my motivation? What’s yours?