Monday, November 01, 2004
Motives Matter to God!
As I was studying the Bible last week, an apparent problem surfaced. Because I do not believe the Bible contradicts itself, I was driven to prayer and thinking. In Matthew 5:16, Jesus tells us to let our light shine before men in such a way that people will see our good deeds and glorify God. This is a clear command to do acts of righteousness in public. Do you agree? People will not be able to see our good deeds and glorify God if we do them all in secret. Then, just a few days later, I read Matthew 6:1. It says, “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 (ESV).” Here is the summary of the problem I was seeing: I should do good deeds that other people see (Mat. 5:16) but I should not do them in order to be seen (Mat. 6:1). In other words, it is ok to be seen doing good deeds but it is not ok to want to be seen doing good deeds. Motives matter to God! The inner purpose for which we do things really matters to God. Is your motive in doing good deeds to glorify God and have others see His glory (Mat. 5:16)? This is praised by Jesus. Or, is your motive to be seen by men (Mat. 6:1)? This is condemned by Jesus. Church, let us evaluate our motives more often because they matter to God!