I wanted to share with you two very powerful Bible scriptures that I have come across a few times in my life, but most recently truly effected me. This isn't a religious blog, so like always, I will discuss a little on how one can apply it to their life regardless of who they believe in.
The scriptures are Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18
Giving to the Needy1"Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.
2"Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 3But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.Matthew 6:16-18
16"And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 17But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, 18that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
Both of these scriptures remind me of how much as people we tailor our actions in order to please, be rewarded by, or for the attention of other humans. These scriptures really stand out during Lent season, a time where people are sacrificing, fasting, and working on their relationship with God. A lot of people have decided to fast simply because those around them are doing it, and they want to prove to others that they can be strong. They are totally not focusing on why they are fasting, but what they are fasting and displaying it for everyone to see. This is suppose to be a 40 day journey with you and God, not a spectacle for all to see.
During Lent it is also a time for service to others, but are you giving and doing service so that others applaud you, or are you doing it out of the kindness of your heart? Are you comfortable enough that you can do service in secret?
This scripture really speaks to Lent; however, it applies on a daily basis. Are you doing other things in your life "for the people", or for yourself? Do you simply do things to get attention and for others to praise you? Are you stuck trying to live up to expectations of other humans?
I think hands down really reading and understanding these two scriptures can help you put into perspective your reasoning behind the things you choose to do. I think it is important that you concentrate more on the actual goal you are trying to accomplish, and not who is watching. You will come to realize that who is watching holds little importance in the long run. Also, those who are watching can hold you back from what you are truly trying to achieve. Remember, people are not Gods whom we have to dedicate our lives to pleasing.
I am glad God is helping me to understand this...I fall short often.