Be especially careful when you are trying to be good so that you don’t make a performance out of it. It might be good theater, but the God who made you won’t be applauding. When you do something for someone else, don’t call attention to yourself. You’ve seen them in action, I’m sure—‘playactors’ I call them—treating prayer meeting and street corner alike as a stage, acting compassionate as long as someone is watching, playing to the crowds. They get applause, true, but that’s all they get. When you help someone out, don’t think about how it looks. Just do it—quietly and unobtrusively. That is the way your God, who conceived you in love, working behind the scenes, helps you out. ~Matthew 6:1-4 (The Message)
Once again, I have spent several weeks being honest with myself about the spiritual heart of my religious life.
See to it that your effort to do right is not based on a desire to be popular.
If it is, you’ll get no help from your spiritual Father.
~Clarence Jordan’s, Cotton Patch Gospel version of Matthew 6:1
What I see in my life is that my actions can be hypocritical. Furthermore, I can be hypercritical of my actions and over think what I’ll do or not do because of how it will look to others. All this wastes time and energy I could be investing in God’s kingdom.
More and more I am realizing, I need God’s help and blessing if I am going to live quietly and unobtrusively in God’s kingdom. So today I am choosing to listen to these words Jesus is speaking to my heart: Blessed are you when you don’t need the spotlight on yourself but highlight the Father in all you say and do, for then you’ll really be seen and rewarded by the Father who dearly loves you.
May our lights so shine before others, that our good works give glory to our Father who is in heaven (my paraphrase of Matthew 5:16).