Who is your audience?

PLEASE READ THIS FIRST: Matthew 6:16-18

What do you sense the Lord saying to you in this passage?

“So that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting…” (Matthew 6:18)
Jesus is addressing the underlying motives behind our piety or good deeds.
Do we make huge donations or make ourselves appear pious for others to see?
I know growing up in the church, keeping up appearances was often considered.
How we dressed, behaved or observed religious traditions… ‘what will people think???’
Jesus says that the only reward for ‘performance’ religion is peoples’ applause.
Pretending to do something good for God to impress people doesn’t impress God.
Jesus is addressing a specific issue in His day among the religious leaders.
If Jesus was addressing this issue to me, how might this apply to my heart?
Honestly, I do think about what people will think, yet in an different way.
I tend to downplay and hide my commitment to God because of what people will think.
Today ‘doing things for God’ often does not lead to applause, but derision.
I worry about how people might think negatively of me because of my faith.
How can I silence that impulse for peoples’ approval, or for them to like me?
How can I make God and Jesus my audience, and do what I do for them?
PRAYER
Lord, we all have our own ways of putting on a good show for others. Help me to be more aware of You and to know Your smile is the greatest reward!

4 Comments

  1. O Lord forgive me for desiring recognition of good works I’ve done. Forgive me for keeping silent when I should have been your mouth. Help me O Holy Spirit to seek always of Jesus approval rather than men and be serious practicing WWJD daily.

  2. Fasting is a way of deepening my relationship with God. It is not a way to draw attention to myself. My reward comes from God, not others. Father, help me to seek only Your approval.

  3. I really do not fast. But each day I need to dress myself with the armour of God so that I can live the fruit of the Spirit. Not my will but His be done. I need to live so that others may see Christ Jesus living in me. A Christ follower – that is my desire to be – an instrument of His peace.

    Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace
    where there is hatred, let me sow love;
    where there is injury, pardon;
    where there is doubt, faith;
    where there’s despair, hope;
    where there is darkness, light;
    and where there is sadness, joy

    O Divine Master
    grant that I may not so much
    seek to be consoled as to console
    to be understood, as to understand
    to be loved as to love

    For it is in giving that
    we receive
    It is in pardoning
    that we are pardoned
    And it is dying
    that we are born to eternal life

  4. Fasting for me is personal. I even try not to let my wife know – when I do a brief fast – the fast is between me and God. I certainly don’t want anyone to think ‘special’ of me because I fast. Fasting also helps me to reflect on how dependent I am on ‘food’ both physical and spiritual. I regret that I don’t fast often enough – because I know when I do – I am blessed by a deeper sense of dependence on God!

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