“Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.”
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.”
What is the purpose of doing the things that we do for God? Is it because He needs us? Of course God doesn’t need us! He can do whatever He wants, whenever He wants, however He wants — He is omnipotent! So the things that we do are for the purpose, on some level, of worship. Look at Romans 12:1 — the things that we do are supposed to bring glory back to Him – that’s how we WORSHIP Him.
So what happens when we do the right things for the wrong reasons – when we give and pray and act “holy” for our own glory? What does it mean when I do those things God commanded, but I do them to heap praise and adoration on myself? You know what I think? I think it means that I am worshipping myself – that I have become the object of my worship. We have become a culture that ultimately worships itself, which is perhaps the most corrupt form of idolatry possible.
I know it’s hard to escape seeking the good opinions of those around us. We are often more aware of what they think than what God thinks, but that’s the problem – we need to get closer and closer to God so we can know what He thinks, and we need to make it our mission to be pleasing to Him. We are “called” by God to be pleasing to Him. The opinions of others must become of little consequence in our lives. Conversely Jesus said, “How can you believe since you accept glory from one another but do not seek the glory that comes from the only God?” (John 5:44) so He values our motives along with our actions.
Read Matthew 6 all the way to verse 24. What are three areas in which Jesus requires the need for authenticity?
Why is authenticity so important for a Christian’s witness?
In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, …