1“Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. 2 “Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 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. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. 5 “And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 6 But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. 7 “And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.”
– Matt. 6:1-8
What is that we seek? Do we seek the approval and/or recognition of men? Or do we seek to be acknowledged by Christ?
Most “Good Christians” who know the lingo and have bought the t-shirt would answer with the latter, without even acknowledging that by answering with latter they are seeking the former. In other words with our attempt to seek attention from Christ we really seek the attention of people but give it a cute cover by saying we are seeking the acknowledgment of Christ, as if He doesn’t already KNOW US.
Truly an epidemic across the globe, too many Christians who in their fleshy longing of acceptance put their trust in works, rather than the work that has already been completed. Don’t get me wrong, we as Christians should act out our faith, I also strongly believe that we should not hide our faith and should be vocal. However, it is also apparent that the case my be at times that Christians become defeated or lose motivation when the acknowledgement does not proceed the deeds.
You see giving and all the other charitable works we do as the body of Christ are great, but is it possible that in doing good we lose focus of why we are doing these things? I believe that in the scripture Jesus hits on some key points, that if we are not careful, we can easily overlook. He who gives to be acknowledged, speaks to be heard, and prays to be honored among men have already received their reward. Yet most people who do so are not content with this reward, because the reward they say they are seeking is that which only the Father can give, but yet when only the Father is looking, they become defeated.
It is no secret that perseverance is one of the seven things the Apostle Peter mentions for the blueprint on living a fruitful life.
The Christian life is a matter of repentance, justification and sanctification. Acknowledging that we are broken, accepting Jesus as our Lord and Savior, being brought back into relationship with God and caring our Cross to spread the Gospel. Therefore the works we do are simply the cross we bare, our rightful duty as being heirs of the Kingdom of God. If we seek to do such works, it should be for the Kingdom of God, to spread the Gospel and see lives be changed. Not so our Pastor or leaders can see us, not so we can be given a promotion in church ministry and not so others can perceive us as being “Holy”.
The thought stated that those who seek acknowledgment from Christ is equivalent to seeking acknowledgment from men, is stated because Christ already knows us. He created us, to think that we can catch His attention is frankly denying that He is who He says He is, which is all-knowing.
Christ died for us, so that we can know Him. To think that we can grasp God’s attention through our charity is backwards. Christ has been there and done that, He’s is the CEO of all charities established, because He laid the framework of charity, by caring the cross to Calvary, so that you and I can KNOW HIM.
Guys, do charity and do good, because what Christ has done for you is good. Not because you want more blessings, honor and/or rewards on earth, but simply because YOU KNOW CHRIST.