“Watch out! Don’t do your good deeds publicly to be admired by others…When you give to someone in need, don’t do as the hypocrites do—blowing trumpets to call attention to their acts of charity…
When you pray, don’t be like the hypocrites who love to pray publicly…where everyone can see them…
And when you fast, don’t make it obvious, as the hypocrites do…so people will admire them…”
Matthew 6:1-2, 5, 16 NLT
Hypocrites call attention to themselves; they love to be seen and admired. Hypocrites put on a false appearance, pretending to be somebody they’re not. In fact, every action of a hypocrite screams, “Look at ME!”
What a stark contrast between the life of a hypocrite and that of a person who simply trusts the care of Our Father! Hypocrites strive so hard to get what Our Father gives freely! They strive to be seen—but Our Father SEES everything we do! They strive for rewards of praise—but Our Father REWARDS everything we do!
No wonder Jesus warned us, “Watch out!” To exalt SELF was the same temptation Satan had thrown at Him! Jesus knew there’s no joy to be found on the SELF-focus road. In fact, it’s exhausting to navigate. People approval is futile—no matter how loud the applause, it will never be enough to fill the hole in your soul. Only relationship with the Father can do that.
I notice Jesus’ pleas began with, “When you give…when you pray…when you fast. Those were expected acts of devotion, all part of relationship with God! However, their purpose was not to give us public applause of men, but to give us private intimacy with Our Father!
So, watch out!
Don’t be a hypocrite and ruin that precious relationship!