Mathew 6:1-6, 16-18
It is always normal for us to do good things so that people can see and appreciate us. Sometimes we try to let people know how much we have gone, how gifted, how powerful and prayerful we are, how we prayed and everywhere begins to quake etc.
Sometimes we do forget that When we work and pray for human appraisal, it is no longer God that is taking the glory. We now become the centre of attraction. We forget that What We do is Only for God.
When we read the above theme of today, we will understand that everything we do is for God, and not for human appraisal.
When we understand this, we then can do anything we want to do that is good. We do them not seeking for personal glory but that of God, and not looking for human approval.
Whether people like what you do or not, whether they appreciate your efforts or not, you understand that What We do is Only for God. We come to terms that our motivation is all for God.
In the gospel of today, Jesus asks His disciples to be very careful in parading their good deeds before people or that people may praise them.
Jesus asks that our almsgiving, prayers, thanksgiving and fasting must be known to God in secret. Jesus uses the Greek word Προσέχετε (prosechete) for beware.
The word “beware” simply means being careful and being cautious. It is a word used as a warning. It indicates that Jesus is warning His disciples from blowing the Trumpet whenever they practice acts of piety, whenever they give alms or help someone, and whenever they pray and fast. Therefore, Jesus is warning us when we work and pray for human appraisal.
The reasons are:
1. When we pray or work for human appraisal, It is no longer God we are projecting, we are projecting ourselves.
Until we understand that in every mission, every ministry and apostolate it is God we project, we will cease telling people how prophetic and powerful we are.
Secondly, when we understand this, we will also come out of our comfort zones and not thinking that some do it better. It is not all about you, it is about God. God can use you despite your weaknesses.
2. What Jesus says in the gospel surely indicates that there are true rewards when we give alms, pray and fast.
Jesus says the Father who sees in secret will surely reward you, but when we channel the glory to ourselves, fasting and praying that people will see us, we may lose the heavenly Father’s reward.
3. When we work and pray for Human appraisal, it indicates that we have received our reward already from the people and not from God. This might be the reason some prayers do not even cross the sky.
4.For Jesus to warn against this is simply an indication that God detests such kind of life. When we help, it is not a permission to tell the world how you have done that. Let us understand that we are mere instruments of God. Let our almsgiving be in secret.
5. Today many people believe in human beings more than they believe in God. Yes, some people are gifted but it is not a thoroughfare that whenever He opens his mouth God will be commanded by Him.
In Luke 18:9-4, God even answered the prayer of the sinner rather than the self-righteous person. God answers our prayers when we come to Him in humility not when we try to tell Him how far we have prayed and fasted.
6. The only one who has our approval is God. Working for human appraisal, approval and endorsement is fruitless, and a sign of faithlessness.
Some of us have made some people God and some have made themselves God and taken the position of God. We are mere mortals.
There is nothing like a great man of God. Nobody is great, we are only great in the Lord. We are only weak, unworthy, sinful and mere mortals continually worked upon by God and used by Him as instruments.
To be a prayer warrior and speak in tongues does not mean that whatever you say, God must do. God works in His ways. He is the one who does the work. We do not command Him to do our wish. We approach Him in humility.
Do not think that when you fast, you command God, No. But when you fast, you are asking God to look upon you with His eyes of mercy. He answers the prayer the way He wants and not the way you want. To understand this is to understand life.
We are not the doer. God is the doer. He is simply working through us. Let us understand this and always approach God, give, share, and pray in humility of heart.
May God bless you dearest and give you the grace to continually come close to Him. May He never allow you to stumble Amen