Hidden Idolatry Within Our Gloating

Matthew 6:1-4 (NKJV)
Do Good to Please God
Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven. Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly.

When I was young, I was usually the last to get something new to boast about. We were poor. There were a lot of kids in the neighborhood who would receive something new, and quickly run to boast about it. “I got a new Nintendo game and you didn’t! HA, HA!” You would hear many different words coming out of the mouths of the kids, with a prideful message that made you feel like you were missing out. Like your mom and dad obviously didn’t care about you, because you didn’t get a game too. Heck, I never even had a Nintendo, let alone a game! Ah, the silly things that we do as kids. It is also something that I have found to be so prevalent as an adult, within the Christian population.

Many, and I mean many, Christians are so ready to show the world that they are doing a really great job of being, “A good Berean.” They boast to others about the accomplishments. How much time they have put in, volunteering at the church. The dollar amounts they have given. The number of meals they have distributed to the needy. The pictures of themselves doing charitable deeds on social media. They show everyone how much of a sacrifice they have made. Pious. Martyrs. It is a huge problem within the churches of today. We all like to feel appreciated, but to show others just how much of a Christian we are by parading our works, is like putting our nose in the air to the rest of the world. We should all, as children of God, make efforts to become more  Christ-like; humbled before our Lord. Not proud, and showing off our achievements. Pride builds prettier churches, more attractive congregations, wealthier leaders, and a bigger head. The ‘ego’ displayed, destroys the man who just wants to see and feel the love of God from others. What love of God can we give when we are self-seeking? If we know what the Bible teaches, then we know that the position that we place ourselves upon; the great throne of our own importance, becomes an idol. We place ourselves on the higher shelf that is solely reserved for our Creator.

When I read His Word, it points to humility, humbleness, a lowly place under the supremacy of our Father, and a turning away from the very thing that hinders our walk with Him; pride. Are we self-seeking, or seeking His commands? If we are aiming to please the ego by placing our accomplishments in the spotlight, then what glory have we brought to the Creator of our universe? Do we not see that pride started this vicious atrocity of sin, and that we should all do our part in keeping it out of His Church? As a young Christ-follower, I really started to follow the crowd of the organized, institutionalized, ridiculous world of religion. I soon realized that it is not the same as following the ways of Jesus. I pray that someone who reads this will be encouraged to keep their works in secret, and do them because of the love that they have for others. For the love of God. Not for the gloating love that they have for themselves. May we all take a lowly position, and never let our left hand know what our right hand is doing.

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