“[JESUS]TAKE CARE not to do your good deeds publicly or before men, in order to be seen by them; otherwise you will have no reward with and from your Father Who is in heaven. Thus, whenever you give to the poor, do not blow a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites in the synagogues and in the streets like to do, that they may be recognized and honored and praised by men. Truly I tell you, they have their reward in full already.” Matthew 6:1-2 ->me: Before the Lord called me into this season in my life – I was one of these people who sought recognition from giving. Whether it was including my name on giving through work avenues or charitable giving through the church. I loved ‘knowing’ that I would be seen as an upstanding person in the eyes of the receiver and processor…and that was my reward paid in full. In these last 3 years that God has really taken ahold of my life I now see the pride and self idolatry in those acts. What is interesting is that this verse, on face value, seems to conflict with Matthew 5:16 – but the focus in this passage is on what follows -> Almsgiving, prayer, and fasting. There is a world of difference between living a conspicuously good and godly life (5:13-16) and striving to gain reputation for piety. The difference is not only in the motive, but in the result; the former brings glory to God, the latter only to the performer. When I show-off I get what I have earned -> the approval of men. The quality of God’s reward in heaven is not even comparable to the earthly reward of the approval of men. When I give with a desire to be seen by men, what I am really showing is my lack of reverence, joy, and hope in an eternity with Jesus.