Sunday, April 10, 2011

Matthew 6:1

Scripture – Matthew 6:1
"Beware of practicing your piety before men in order to be seen by them; for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.


Imagine yourself in the crowd listening to Jesus say these words.
For a moment His eyes fall on you, His face shows no expression as He looks into your eyes.
The moment passes and He continues.
Consider your own life and the times where you have felt the need to show others your virtue.
What reward did you win for showing others how ‘good’ a person you are?
Thinking on what Jesus has just said to you, consider what reward you may have forsaken.
What would this reward be like?
Did Jesus communicate something of this reward when He looked into your eyes?


It can feel good to parade our good deeds before others. It reassures us of our own worth in the eyes of others.
Through it we may draw permission to hold our heads up in the company of our friends and peers.
Yet what are we doing?
When we ask people to praise us for our efforts, to nod at us approvingly, isn’t it so we can feel better about ourselves?
This is merely a form of trade in which good deeds are exchanged for approval.
Although it may give our pride a boost does such a trade have any worth?

Perhaps it is time to sacrifice the pleasure of approval and esteem from others and find a richer choice.
Let us consider the One who gives us our talents and capabilities. Let us give thanks to God for the good that comes from our hearts and hands.
When we ‘give up’ the worldly trade of our piety and seek no reward we make ourselves worthy of the love of God.

Jesus, help me to know the cost of my pride and the value of your love.

Source: Lent – A Window To God by Peter Kelly – Ash Wednesday reflection

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