‘So when you give something to a needy person, do not make a big show of it, as the hypocrites do in the houses of worship and on the streets. They do it so that people will praise them. I assure you, they have already been paid in full. But when you help a needy person, do it in such a way that even your closest friend will not know about it.’ (verses 2,3)
Read Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18
Nobody likes someone who is always blowing their own trumpet. God doesn’t either. He’s not impressed when we boast to others about our achievements. By doing things like that we push him out of our thinking and speaking, and we damage our relationship with him. He would much rather have a brief quiet moment with us where he is at the centre of our thinking and we delight in being with him. That’s what worship is all about.
Of course, Jesus isn’t telling you to hide from others everything you do. He’s talking about an attitude of the heart where you exclude him and make it appear that you should have all the credit for what you’ve done. That’s not worship, nor is it being a faithful servant. Without him you can’t do anything. Instead, talk with him in private about what you’ve done. Give him the honour and praise he deserves, and thank him for allowing you to serve him. That will draw you even closer to him and give you an even greater desire to go on serving him. Your friends don’t really have to know about it.
My Lord and my Saviour, give me a heart that will let you become more important while I become less important. Amen.
Devotion by Len Tscharke from “Refreshment for each day” (LCA. Openbook Publishers, 2003)
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