KEEPING IT SECRET
There are some positions in our jobs and within The Church that places the individual or group front and center with much, if not all, of the attention. When public speakers like The President or a Pastor address their audience, all eyes are expected to be on them.
However, Christ has instructed that the lives of Christians not resemble this look-at-me spirit that haunts all of us from birth. Right at the beginning of the chapter Jesus gives His opening declaration -
"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."
Notice the warning - Pride. "Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them." Christ alerts those who are "righteous" to Not Exhibit with prideful intent their right standing with God in front of others. Do not have a haughty spirit about your faith. Do not stick your nose up in the air concerning your calling. Do not compare anything of yours to anything of anybody else. This is the work of Pride and Pride always comes before a fall (Proverbs 16:18).
Notice the reward - there is none, IF you "practice" or make your behavior consistent as "to be seen by them". Jesus gave us this - If...Then lesson by saying, "If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven."
In particular, Jesus emphasizes three areas of our lives that should be private - giving to the needy, prayer and fasting . He re-verifies this strong instruction before each area of our lives that should be privatized. (Matthew 6:1-18)
Giving to the needy is supposed to be done in secret. Having our intimate prayer time with Christ needs to be done behind closed doors. Fasting needs to look like we are not fasting. There is a secrecy between you and God, in particular on these matters. In all three areas Jesus said as a result of obedience - "Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you." So, the next time that - "to be seen by them" spirit comes on you, especially in the areas of giving, praying and fasting - don't showboat and consider Keeping It Secret.