Inconsistency seems to be the only thing that I can be consistent in. Time after time I start something and do not finish it.
It is clearly my broken cycle.
A handful of months ago I started studying the book of Matthew, I was enthralled by the text, blown away by the understanding that I was able to receive from the text and from the explanation of the text by men who are much smarter than I am. As usual, however, I ended up being “busy” and losing track of my hearts desire to learn specifically about Jesus.
This morning I re-opened the fresh taste of blood that initially drew me to the text and it was refreshing to say the least. I had left off at verse one of chapter six which reads through verse four: “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.
“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. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
There are a couple things about this text that really caught me… the first is that Jesus not only counts the disciples as righteous but He comments on it. What an honor to be deemed even the slightest bit righteous by the only one who will ever be worthy of being called righteous! And maybe even crazier than Jesus seeing righteousness within the disciples is that He sees righteousness in us as well, by “us” I mean those who’s hearts are truly seeking a kingdom greater than their own, the kingdom of Christ.
The other thing is how often I do things, say things and plan things that will allow people to look at me and comment in a positive way. This text tells me that this is my reward when I search for such acknowledgment.
We are to serve because we are called to serve and this happens out of response to the Gospel of Jesus Christ not out of response to our spiritual insecurities. It is almost saddening to think of how unfulfilling the reward has been for so many “good works” because my desire was to be seen not to truly serve the hearts and needs of those people.
As we serve, not everything should be kept quiet, as there is great power in our example as Christ followers, however, our motive has to be checked at the door of service. If our hearts are selfish we should consider our hearts as to what they are responding to, the Gospel or insecurity and dive into the all-fulfilling relationship that we have with God thanks to Jesus Christ.
Do something this week that no one can know about unless you tell them, and keep your mouth shut… let your Father reward you, someday.
thank you for spending 10 minutes with me.
dennis alan gable jr.