A few years ago, a Pew Research Center poll revealed that revealed that the goal of the majority of young people was to be rich and famous. Trumping some more noteworthy objectives, such as helping others or becoming more spiritual, it’s easy to see why rich and famous may have risen to the top of the list. It no longer seems that talent or skill is a requirement for fame (or riches). As one researcher stated it, “We’re seeing the common person become famous for being themselves.”
In a day where people come become “famous” amongst their group of Facebook “friends” simply for posting a noteworthy status, the average young person probably sees no problem expanding this new-found celebrity into a career. However, God’s Word makes it clear that His children should be concerned about a different type of acclaim (Mt. 6:1-4). We should be focused on the good things that our Father has to say about us, not the praise of others.
In deepening our understanding of this, Christ says that if we do receive our praise on Earth – we have already received the reward for our good deeds. In other words we shouldn’t do the things of God because we think it we will attain favor here and in Heaven. Instead – we need to choose. Are we going to do Christ-like things for the sake of praise from our fellow man or are we going to do them because we are eagerly anticipating the reward of favor from our gracious King? Are we broadcasting our good deeds so that others may think well of us, or are we doing them in secret so that our Father does?
We must ask ourselves – if I’m going to receive favor only one source, would I rather it be from finite man or from an infinite God? And if our aim is to receive our reward from God, then we need to make sure that our hearts and our words reflect that – and that we do things so that He knows of them – not so that others do.
Practically, what do you think it means to do good things “in secret” for the sake of our Father’s reward?