“Watch out! Don’t do your good deeds publicly, to be admired by others, for you will lose the reward from your Father in heaven” – Matthew 6:1
Have you seen public figures do charity work and deeds just to be seen? This is a broad generalization and I know that it is does not describe everyone, but we see politicians, celebrities, executives and yes even clergy, appear in front of cameras of photo shoots supporting a cause, just to be seen. We are moved to admire them, not because of the good they are doing, but because sometimes we cannot reconcile seeing someone of their position, doing something “so honorable”. It just doesn’t click somehow and yet it attracts us.
Truth is that there is something more profound happening in us. We often want to be admired as those we are watching, are. We like the attention, the adulation and the admiration. We want to become a role model, but for what? When I read what Jesus said in Matthew 6:1, it made me examine myself. I am guilty of doing many times exactly what Jesus is saying not to do. What were my intentions? Do I really want to do good because I want to worship the Lord with my life or because I silently want the worship of people? Have you been there? Have you tried to use your platform, position or influence to further your cause and not that of the ONE that gave you the position you have?
It takes a lot of profound thinking and introspection to realize that our well meant deeds, sometimes were not birthed from the most pure intentions. And it is obvious that many of us don’t have the public platform that others have and we might dismiss this by saying, “Well, I’m just a simple individual, that does not describe me”. But in reality it does, and you know it. We can do things nobody knows about, all good deeds, but secretly we expect the admiration of those that benefit from our action or our words. Things like, Why did you forgive? To be politically correct, or to genuinely mend a relationship? Check your social media posts. What are they saying? Why are you saying them? Are they truly an expression of a grateful heart or an attempt to further your own agenda, business or status? Are they a false pose of your true intentions? I know these are strong words, but they are necessary.
The reason Jesus brought it up was because he saw it. He knew all to well that we are so impatient and we want immediate gratification so we hide behind actions that we believe will accelerate it. When we open the door for adulation or self serving, we open the door to an empty room. A room that will fill our ego but empty our hearts. The writer of Proverbs said it well; “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.”, and guarding our hearts from self serving intentions, will definitely be rewarded in due time. It is a matter of trust.
I want God’s blessings in the life of those I love and in mine also. Rewards of men can and will dissipate easily. So I pray that my intentions are pure and that I can be found worthy of his goodness and mercy in my lifetime. I pray that I can guard my heart and I pray, that your prayer will be the same. Because life is a flicker and it is too precious to be spent in the empty room of false intentions. Don’t be afraid to ask yourself the next time, What’s the intention? Guard your heart, make your life count. It will not always be easy, but you will see how the door of an immeasurable life will open before you.
“BREATHE expectantly, LIVE confidently and MOVE Boldly”
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© Copyright Danny Maldonado, 2012
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.