Read Matthew 6:1–6
1 “Be careful not to practise 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 honoured 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.”
Not Being Fake
Kerri tries hard to get people to like her. She acts upbeat most of the time so that others will comment on her sense of fun. People say nice things to her because they see her helping people who are in need. But when she is being honest, Kerri will say, “I love Jesus, but I feel like my life is fake.” She says she’s running out of energy to keep it up.
Most of us can understand this. It’s very hard to do the right thing for the right reason. We might love Jesus, but sometimes the truth is, we look out for others only because we want to be noticed and liked.
Jesus talked about this problem in Matthew 6:1–6. He warned about doing good things just to be seen by others. And He taught His followers to “give your gifts in private”, to “pray to your Father in private”, and “when you fast, don’t make it obvious” (Matthew 6:4, 6, 16 NLT). Why? Because when we do good things behind closed doors, we know that we’re doing them to please only God. When we’re living just for Him, we can learn to be satisfied with His opinion of us, rather than needing everyone else’s praise too. —AC
Wanting to please God should be our only reason for obeying God.
Talk to God
Dear Father, please forgive me for wanting to please others more than You. Please help me to do good for the right reasons.
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