"The king's heart is in the hand of the Lord; He directs it like a watercourse wherever He pleases. All a mans' ways seem right to him, but the Lord weighs his heart. To do what is right and just is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice." Proverbs 21:1-3
There are people who do good things for the wrong reasons. It might appear that they are trying to do what is right but it ends up that they only do it for their own benefit. Jesus calls those who do good things with selfish intentions hypocrites. That word means "an actor who wears a mask". A hypocrite in its simplest sense is someone who pretends to be something that in reality they are not.
The Pharisees, who craved the praise of men, sometimes brought much attention to what they gave to the temple treasury. The treasury boxes were set outside the worship area and people gave their money as they came in.
If you have to announce and demand recognition when you do something or give something, then you are no better than a hypocrite. God sees our heart and knows why we do what we do.
There's an advertisement on television that features an athlete running up the steps of an empty stadium. No one is watching, but he's giving it all he has, sweating and really working his body to the limit. The ad points out that he's going through all that hard work so that he can receive the reward of winning in the competition. He is training himself and learning to discipline himself in order to win the prize.
God asks us to discipline our lives, to deny self and take up our cross daily so that we can be true disciples of Jesus Christ. It isn't about us and it isn't about doing all of this so people will say, "Look at her or him. They do sooooooooo much for the Lord!"
People can find an excuse for doing almost anything, but God looks in the heart to the motives. We can make the right decisions by first identifying our motives and then asking, "Would God be pleased with my real reasons for doing this?" God is not pleased with us when we do things expecting to receive something back.
Why are you doing what you do today for the Kingdom of God?
Nina at Mamas Little Treasures is hosting IOW today. Visit her site to read other posts on this topic.