Chuck Foreman – Teaching / Missions Pastor
Motives… Why do we REALLY do what we do? More specifically, why do we practice our religion the way we do? That’s where Jesus wants to take us—if we’re willing to follow him there.
Jesus’ question is not, “Are you giving, praying & fasting?” But, why do you give, pray and fast? Why do you give, pray and fast in the way you do? Are you doing these things out of a new Kingdom Heart, or are you simply trying to get noticed by others and create a pious reputation for yourself?
Neither is Jesus saying that we should necessarily hide our good deeds. There is nothing inherently wrong with being seen doing good. This is not about—are we seen doing a good deed, but rather are we seen doing good in order to be seen doing good? What is your motive? Hard to be that honest at times, isn’t it?
Jesus is trying to tell us that when we want the approval and recognition of others and do what we do for that reason, God politely stands down and does not get in the way. When our aim is to impress people with how devout we are, he stands aside since he knows that what we’re truly after no longer concerns him. He does not intrude where he is not wanted. But when we live for him and do what we do out of the new heart of love he has given us, he sees, responds and rewards!
Here’s the Real Question: Am I OK with simply an audience of One?
You see, God is only interested in genuine, authentic faith in his people. He wants to see the practice of our faith and the good we do flowing out of the new hearts he has given us. If we are content to live out our faith without recognition from others, before an audience of One, He who is unseen, but sees and knows our hearts will reward us!