Thoughts on Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18
Alms, prayer and fasting, all to be done. Done quietly, obediently, without drawing attention to self. Hmm. My prayers are done in the quiet of my heart and home, but then I share them with others in my blog and hope many people read them are are blessed. (In fact, I wish more people read them than are currently doing so.) How do I honor my mission to hear your voice of love and share it with others, and your instruction about praying secretly in my closet?
I guess the key is the motive behind letting your “piety” be seen by others. Jesus describes those whose intention is to show off their piety so that others are impressed by their righteous practices. The impression they make is the reward of their righteousness; it is temporary, not eternal, it corrupts their character rather than purifying it.
My intention is to let your love penetrate my heart, transform it and then to let your light shine through me. I am not perfect in this process. I am a human, tainted by sin, and all I do is touched by the stain. I am a work in progress. The enemy of my soul uses this crack in my vessel to shut me up. Since part of me wants the attention of others, I should not publish my prayers. It is my ego, my selfish ambition driving me, hoping others will think highly of me.
The enemy uses the truth against me and against God’s kingdom. It’s true, my motives are not 100% pure, but I will not be 100% pure until I reach perfection in heaven. So am I to not share the good news of God’s good work in me now? No, I must share it. It is in fact proof of the gospel. God takes an imperfect vessel like me, pours his truth into it and then uses it to encourage other broken vessels to let God love them.
Ego be damned. God is bigger than my selfish ambition. His love overshadows my puny need for attention. God be glorified.
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.” So, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities for the sake of Christ; for whenever I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Cor 12:9,10
His power is made perfect in my weakness. Shine, Jesus, shine. Use my impure self to show off your generous grace. And melt my ego in the process. Thank you and amen.
Friend, don’t let your tainted motivation keep you from the good God has given you to do. Own your brokenness and your beauty and run the race set before you, even if you limp as you run.
With you on the journey, Debby