by Keith Krell

This content is part of a series.

Secret Service (7 of 12)
Series: Counter-Cultural Christianity
Keith Krell
Matthew 6:1-18

"If you've got it, flaunt it!" Typically, this expression means: If you have a great body, don't hide it under modest attire. Show yourself off for the world to see. If you have a brilliant mind, don't be humble and unassuming. Expose the genius within. If you have money, spend it so that people know you're loaded. Perhaps you can see the problems with the notion, "If you've got it, flaunt it!" Yet, for some bizarre reason many Christians assume that this expression is valid in the spiritual realm. It's common for Christians to brag about how much they give, how much they pray, how much they serve, and how spiritual they are. Honestly, we've all been guilty of this behavior. It's easy to be spiritually smug and let pride enter into our lives. We all want to be recognized and appreciated. We all want to impress people with our gifts and devotion. Yet, the Bible is clear that we must seek to impress God alone. This requires a motives check-up. After all, motives matter when it comes to being approved and rewarded by God. This means you must do the right thing in the right way. In Matt 6:1-18, Jesus shares three practices that will enable you to do the right thing in the right way.

1. Give without fanfare (6:1-4). Jesus urges you and me to give with pure motives that please God. He begins in 6:1 with a principle that introduces and summarizes 6:1-18. Jesus says, "Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven." The word "beware" always warns of danger ahead, like a bridge being out of order or a road being under water. To refuse to obey such a sign is both foolish and dangerous. Here, Jesus warns you to beware of seeking to impress people. He doesn't say that you can't be impressive. Many Christians are impressive people. Jesus is not opposed to public righteousness tha ...

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