Keeping Up Appearances — A LifeWords Devotion - Hope 103.2

Keeping Up Appearances — A LifeWords Devotion

How easy it is to show off.

By David ReayThursday 24 Nov 2022LifeWords DevotionalsDevotionsReading Time: 2 minutes

How easy it is to show off. When we do something good, we can be tempted to let others know about it so as to puff up our reputation. Jesus warns against what some religious people of his day would do, drawing attention to ourselves. Praying and the giving of alms were good acts, but motivation matters.

No problem with public prayer or public acts of generosity. But if the motivation behind those acts is to get the admiration of others, then there is a problem. And Jesus adds another caution. That bit about not letting the left hand know what the right hand is doing is actually a warning to not even show off to yourself. It is possible to show off to yourself about your keeping your good deeds secret from others!

We might figure we are doing OK if we are prayerful and generous and recognised as such by others. It is one good step forward. But we go backward when we make this recognition our aim. It is good to be a good person, but it is not so good if we are good in order to get applause.

Our ultimate audience is God our maker. He discerns our motives; he sees the secret things we do that others do not. Aim for human applause and we will likely get it. But that will mean missing out on the applause that really matters.