“Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. Matthew 6:1-4 (NIV)
Do you ever catch yourself wanting to announce what good you have done? You give something to someone and you feel like you have to pat yourself on the back. Or you do something that no one saw, but you feel that desire to share it with someone as if you need to be acknowledged for your good deed?
Why do we do this? To be liked? To feel valued? To be popular? To be credited with a label of a “do gooder?”
The religious leaders in Jesus day would announce their benevolence. Jesus let’s them know that when you do good to be seen by others you have already received your reward.
As if the people owed them applause and recognition for what they did. It’s as if their good works earned them something.
To live like Jesus doesn’t mean to be good and do good to get people to recognize us.
To live like Jesus is to do good for others because Jesus has done something amazing for us. He saved us.
When we realize that our lifestyle of doing good is a response to what Jesus has done, we won’t have the urge to be recognized for the good we have recently done. Our good works earn us nothing with God, so doing good is not to earn something, but a responses to what we have already been given.
My Next Step:
Do something good for someone and not tell anyone. Let my motivation to do good come from what Jesus did for me and not from the recognition of what I did.