Matthew 6:1 “Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.
Hi, my name is Karisa, and I am a recovering people-pleaser. It has been one minute since I drank my last complement. I loved the feedback that I received from a client this morning. “I hired a poet to write a business letter. I’m very smart cookie. She did an awesome job in a short period of time.”
We are constantly getting input on how we are doing from our fellow man, but God’s review has to be the only feedback that counts. This is a serious stumbling block for me. I tend to beat myself up for mistakes, and struggle to have the same response no matter what criticism is received. I get sick to my stomach until I hear back that I’ve done a good job. Therefore, rather than writing each job to the glory of my Savior I am constantly needing a pat on the back to think I’m any good at writing. Jesus puts it bluntly. “Right living, wrong audience=no reward from God” Wow, there is no qualifier there. It doesn’t say that we receive less of a reward, it says “no’” reward. Why?
At the heart of hypocrisy is people pleasing. If I am doing things of God, but looking for man’s approval I will never be satisfied. I will have no reward in heaven because I am not concerned about heavenly things. We all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. I will never measure up to the expectations of others, because none of us do! So why look for man’s approval, when that approval will always fall short of God’s? What can man give me that God cannot?
If only God were more public with his praise of us! But, instead Jesus tells us, He rewards in secret. (vs. 18) We are looking for immediate gratification; I want to see that what I am investing in is worthwhile, producing results, and having lasting effect.
Satisfaction with God’s approval alone. It is only when I seek my Heavenly Father first that all of these other things are added to me. Lord, I praise you for making me a writer. As I live a public witness through written word, may I seek your will in the quiet place that is just between you and I. Remove all hypocrisy from my life, writing, speech, and actions. Amen