Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.
[PSALM 139:23–24 NLT]
Slay the Desire to Be Noticed
When people enter a church to see God yet can’t see God because of the church, don’t think for a second that God doesn’t react. “Be especially careful when you are trying to be good so that you don’t make a performance out of it. It might be good theater, but the God who made you won’t be applauding” (Matthew 6:1 MSG).
Hypocrisy turns people against God. So God has a no-tolerance policy. Let’s take hypocrisy as seriously as God does. How can we?
1. Expect no credit for good deeds. None. If no one notices, you aren’t disappointed. If someone does, you give the credit to God.
2. Give financial gifts in secret. Money stirs the phony within us. We like to be seen earning it. And we like to be seen giving it. So “when you give to someone in need, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing” (v. 3 NLT).
3. Don’t fake spirituality. When you go to church, don’t select a seat just to be seen or sing just to be heard. If you raise your hands in worship, raise holy ones, not showy ones. When you talk, don’t doctor your vocabulary with trendy religious terms. Nothing nauseates more than a fake “Praise the Lord” or a shallow “Hallelujah” or an insincere “Glory be to God.”
Bottom line: don’t make a theater production out of your faith. “Watch me! Watch me!” is a call used on the playground, not in God’s kingdom. Silence the trumpets. Cancel the parade. Enough with the name-dropping. If accolades come, politely deflect them before you believe them. Slay the desire to be noticed. Stir the desire to serve God. Do good things. Just don’t do them to be noticed. You can be too good for your own good, you know.
~ OUTLIVE YOUR LIFE
Lord Jesus, forgive us for the times we have faked spirituality and participated out of pride. Forgive us for acts done to be seen or to receive praise. Give us hearts that are humble and willing to serve you in secret. May we be quick to give you all the honor and glory. May your church reflect you, for the sake of the lost and for our own sakes, amen.
For our boasting is this: the testimony of our conscience that we conducted ourselves in the world in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshy wisdom but by the grace of God. . . . 2 CORINTHIANS 1:12