What Drives What You Do?
“Watch out! Don’t do your good deeds publicly, to be admired by others, for you will lose the reward from your Father in heaven. When you give to someone in need, don’t do as the hypocrites do—blowing trumpets in the synagogues and streets to call attention to their acts of charity! I tell you the truth, they have received all the reward they will ever get. But when you give to someone in need, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. Give your gifts in private, and your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.” Matthew 6:1-4 (NLT)
What was the last nice thing you did for someone? How did it make you feel? Why did you do it? And that’s the BIG QUESTION… WHY DID YOU DO IT?
Another way to say it - What was the motivation of your heart? Did you do it because it was the right thing to do? Did you do it because it made you feel good about yourself? Did you do it so others would say what a “good person” you are? Or did you do it because it would truly help that person, and you didn’t care who knew about it?
Why we do “good things” can be complicated, but Jesus wants it to be very simple - “Don’t do your good deeds publicly, to be admired by others…” Do good to others simply for their good and not your own. Anyone can do “good deeds” for their own sakes, but it takes a special person who does it for the sole reason of helping and benefiting others.
Sure, it’s nice to get recognized for being nice, but the only acts that are recognized by Jesus are those done in humility and love. Heaven celebrates acts that are done in secret (motivated by heartfelt concern and not public recognition).
Next time you are in the process of doing good for someone else (which is good), ask yourself, “Why am I doing this?” Live for the applause of heaven and not the applause of men. Ask Jesus to change the motive of your heart from self-service to serving others.