“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.
2 “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. 3 But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
5 “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
Doing Good Secretly
Jesus, because I think too lowly of myself, I often look for affirmation and reassurance from others. Of course, I know that my confidence is meant to be based in you but it isn’t. Before I had become your friend, you died for me to make that possible. I am precious to you. Even though I am still wrestling with sin, you love me as I am. You transform me as I draw close to you. You help me throw off the sin that so easily entangles. You help me to do good. Help me to do it secretly for you. Help me not to want my frail ego to be propped up by the affirmations of others. As I see you as a real person, and not a mere idea, I feel more affirmed by you. As I replace all of the ‘don’t get too big for your boots’ and ‘nobody is looking at you’ fears that I had as a child with the thoughts that I am free to do whatever great or small deeds you have for me to do, help me to have the courage not to think of self too highly or too lowly. Help me not to think of self at all; help me to think of you.
- What do some people love to do for show?
- Is affirming someone sinful?
- What should a person’s attitude be about doing good?
- How do you secretly help others?
- How can you shift dependence on others to say nice things to you, to a dependence on God?