You’ve seen them, the people who go to the fundraiser with the 3 foot by 5 foot check, giving it in front of the cameras for everyone to see. Or maybe the couple, going into the orphanage in the famine ravaged, war torn country, bringing out the beautiful baby to save it, also in front of the cameras. God’s Word says that the attention they’ve received, that’s their reward; it’s the reward they’re seeking anyway. But we’re commanded to do good works, so how are we to do them?
How are we to give? How are we to help? Just do it! Don’t announce it; don’t make it a big deal. Just do it! quietly, unobtrusively, without expecting recognition or even thanks. This is hard for us, but Jesus says, “your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” (Matt. 6:4 NIV)
How about prayer? Don’t be the only one standing, being the center of attention, praying like the Pharisee in Luke 18 who thanked God that he was better than others. He got his reward, the attention he sought. God knows you. He doesn’t need your prayer to be a big production. Pray in your prayer closet, “and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” (Matt. 6:6 NIV)
The same is true for fasting and other religious observances. Don’t boast; don’t brag; don’t mope around; don’t try to earn the praise of men. “But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven… for where your treasure is there your heart will be also.” (Matt. 6:20-21 NIV) Do it all to glorify God, not yourself.