Thursday, January 07, 2010

Good Deeds, What's Your Motivation?

Doing good can get you in trouble.

Matthew 5: 14  “You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. 15  No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. 16  In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.”

Matthew 6:1  “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. “

2  “When you give to someone in need, don’t do as the hypocrites do”

5  “When you pray, don’t be like the hypocrites”16  “And when you fast, don’t make it obvious, as the hypocrites do”

At first it may seem that these two scriptures are inconsistent, first we are told to do our good deeds out in public and then we are told to hide our good deeds.

In Matthew 5 we are told to penetrate the darkness and be the light of the world, let your good deeds shine out for all to see is the command and then in Matthew 6 it looks like we are supposed to do our good deeds under cover.

Jesus told us to do good out in public, what other way is there for my light to shine, the world needs to see our love in action, they need to see us forgive others, pray for others, and provide for those that are in need. That’s how we shine our light in this dark world.

Our motivation for doing these good deeds is what we have to keep in check. Am I busy doing random acts of kindness so that I will be praised? In Matthew 5:16 it says to do your good deeds so that God will be glorified, that should be my motivation for every good work that I do, if I am doing good out in public with the motivation found in Matthew 6:1, to be admired by others then I already have my reward.

John 12:46  I have come as a light to shine in this dark world, so that all who put their trust in me will no longer remain in the dark.

I need to be like Jesus and shine my light by doing good. Jesus shined out in everything that he did, out in public view, I need to do good works so that God will get the glory.

I pray that you will be pleased with my motivations Lord. Help me to shine out in this dark world with the motivation of drawing others into the light.