Day 36 – Doing for God Not Ourselves
Brother Lawrence said that “it is a pity to see how many people are attached to certain works that they perform rather imperfectly and for human respect, always mistaking the means for the end.”
Subtly we can do a lot of Christian activity that really serves ourselves rather than God.
Our worship experience can become a spiritual fix for ourselves. Our witness for Christ can be motivated by a desire to announce it to others.
Jesus specifically cautioned us how our praying, giving, and fasting can be prompted by an intent to show off our spirituality before others.
We feel it inside and it can seep into our conversation: “Notice how much time I pray and how God answers my prayers. Notice how I gave of myself to others and how generously I gave my money to God. Notice how often and long I fast and the blessings it brings.
Jesus said: “Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven” (Matthew 6:1).
The inner struggle that Jesus presents is not that other people see us doing what we’re doing. The problem is that we want other people to notice!
This reminds me of an elder telling me with a chuckle about a certain Christian who had “I” problems. (He wasn’t saying that the person had “eye” problems and needed glasses!)
If we do good and godly things just for personal gain or honor or praise, we may impress others and be admired by others. But then God will grant us no further reward.
Doing good and godly things should only be done with a view to please God.
Brother Lawrence prompts us to ask whom we are really serving – ourselves or God.
We don’t want to mistake the means of doing good and godly things for the end of knowing and loving God. Even personal life change is not our goal but a by-product of relating to God.
God alone is God. The Christian life is not all about me or you, but all about Christ. Real change takes place when our goal is to do everything, Christian activities and all the other stuff, in Christ and for God.
Action Step: Examine your inner motive when you’re doing something good. Ask the why question.
This is God’s Word for you today,