Why do I”do things for God?” Do I expect to get something out of it? Do I do it for His glory? Do I do it to make myself look good?
Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.–Matthew 6:1
Alms are something done or given freely to relieve the poor. So charity would be a good word for it. The topic stated here concerns our motives for acting righteously. If believers, do good for the admiration of others or for selfish reasons, they will lose their reward and praise from God. Instead they will be exposed as hypocrites who, under the guise of giving glory to God are really seeking glory for themselves.
Jesus speaks of alms in three areas: giving, prayer, and fasting. His condemnation of doing acts of righteousness to be seen by others challenges much of contemporary Christian activity, including competing for bigness, advertising one’s success, performing and entertaining in the church, and wanting to be first.
Many times we get in a competition with others to be “more spiritual” or doing more for God. We see all the time that churches boast about their attendance. Attendance should be looked at as only having the opportunity to help more get closer to Christ or to bring them to Christ. My opinion is that we will have to answer for what opportunities we had to help further the Gospel. That means, and again this is my opinion, if we’re part of a large church we have more opportunity and will have more to answer for.
We look at certain roles in the church as having more prestige. We look at that from a human perspective though, and not through God’s perspective. Our whole function here on Earth is to help bring others to Christ. God sees everyone that is doing His will as just that, doing what they are supposed to. Some plant, some water, and some harvest. What we see as a mundane task, I think God will reward way more than what we see as the prime task.
We should always remember why we are doing something. It’s not to be rewarded here on Earth. I mean, if you look at it like a job, do we expect our boss to reward us for doing our job all the time? Our job here on Earth is to further His kingdom. So if we’re are doing what we are supposed to be doing, why do we expect to be rewarded here on Earth. Our paycheck, in a way, is Heaven. That paycheck will be far bigger than what we deserve.
It’s easy to get caught up in our pride and competitiveness wanting more, to be the center of attention. But we should be doing our alms because we want to be more like Christ and do His will. He see’s what we do and that’s all that matters. He’ll reward us when we’re in Heaven.