I’m going to be honest friends, like most teenage girls I love when I look good. Not just my physical appearance, but when I have an overall good image. In this age of social media, that seems like a big platform to create the perfect image. (Side note, check out this hilarious video from my friend Katie about having the perfect Christian girl Instagram account: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v2M-fs_H-Ng) She’s hilarious is she not? Ya, that’s goals right there.
Now back to the issue at hand. So, we like to look good, pretty human right? Right! But, Should that really be the purpose of our good deeds? I mean it does feel good when people praise us for the things we do, but that shouldn’t be why we do it. We were given life by God, for God. We are here on earth to bring him glory, serve him, and share his love with others. So naturally, everything we do, should be done for God’s praise, not to make us feel good, to look good, or to be praised by others.
Matthew 5:16 says “Let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly father.” So I think that sums it up right there. We need to let our good deeds direct people’s praise to God. Not us, but God. Because his love is the reason we’re all here, and we need to make sure others know that too.
So, how do we actually do that? I’ve been struggling with that for a while, as I deal with changing my own heart. I was reading Galatians and in chapter 1:10 it says, “Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant.” I have a study bible, and the commentary for this verse talks about how in order to change and fully live for God’s praise and not man’s, we need to pray that we have the courage to seek God’s approval and praise above anyone else’s. I think that’s such an important thing to do, because without praying for strength and courage, we really won’t be able to make that change ourselves.
So, forget the perfect instagram, or people’s praise when you do something good, because that stuff is fleeting. It won’t last. The challenge for us friends is next time we do something, we need to stop and think: Am I doing this for myself, or to bring glory to God?
“No, a true Jew is one whose heart is right with God. Ant true circumcision is not merely obeying the letter of the law; rather it is a change of heart produced by God’s spirit. And a person with a changed heart seeks praise from God, not from people.
– Romans 2:29