Posts Tagged ‘Matthew 6:1’


Mask“Be careful that you do not act out your right living in front of other people in order to be seen by them.  If that’s the case, your heavenly Father does not reward you.”–Matthew 6:1

Happy Lent!  ‘Tis the season for giving up and taking on things.  I have a good friend that gives up meat on Fridays for Lent.  He has been doing it for years.  So when I go to breakfast with him on a Friday, he makes sure to remind the waitress that he cannot eat meat.  “Only four more weeks and I can have bacon again!”  Oh the irony of Lent.  It is the time of year when people strive to grow closer to God but forget that God wants us to be incognito.

Does Jesus really not want us to do all of these extraordinary actions in public?  Yes that is the case.  Jesus changes direction in this section of his sermon.  He has been calling his disciples, then and now, to show unconditional love to other people up until this point.  Jesus tells his disciples that he wants them to care for other people.  But now he adds a warning to it.  It is to be done in secret.  He now calls us to live in hiding. The Christian life is a hidden life.

In our information age, it is difficult not to notify the world when you do something at every moment of the day.  Social media require us to post what we think and do.  Facebook asks, “What’s going on, Dexter?” and Twitter wants me to “Compose a Tweet”.  Friends see me and ask, “How’s it going?”  Or, “What are up to?”  And it is human nature to tell another person the highs and lows of my day.  So when I fast or pray or give to the poor or do any other number of things in my relationship with God, it seems natural to share these with the world.  My righteousness needs to be explained.  The manner in which I live my life requires some clarification.  I want other people to know what I am doing, what God calls me to do.  But God does not want me to pray and tell.  Being a Christian is the sacrifice of self and self-promotion.

If I give up something for Lent and do not tell anyone, does it still count?

%d bloggers like this: