Read: Matt 6:1-34
Watch out! Don’t do your good deeds publicly, to be admired by others, for you will lose the reward from your Father in heaven. Matt 6:1
The religious culture of Jesus day and the popular culture of ours is one of drawing attention to ourselves and how great we are.
In Jesus’ day religious people would give and announce their giving so everyone would say how great they are. They would pray and fast publicly and dramatically so that everyone would notice and say how spiritual they were. They would tout their accomplishments for public praise.
Fact is, they were narcissists and Jesus found not only their self promotion but their hypocrisy disdainful. He said don’t be like that…
Back then they would stand on the street corner or announce it at the synagogue. In this day and age we have a new medium for this kind of narcissism and we see it everyday. Today it’s Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. The human drive to look great in other peoples eyes is strong, and the new platforms are turbo charging the narcissism of our world.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not against social media, but like Jesus I find narcissism, self -promotion and hypocrisy ugly and distasteful. This is a heart check and a reality check. If you find yourself trying to look better on-line than you are in real life (eg: touching up pictures of yourself to post, posting lots of selfies, only bragging about how wonderful your life/kids/job/latest meal/whatever is, or have an incessant need to post something just so people see you) you may be in danger of what Jesus is preaching about here.
The message of Jesus was – it’s not about you. So let me ask… is life all about you? Have you become a Facebook narcissist? Whether on-line or face to face, humility wins the day, is the most beautiful way, and ultimately keeps our hearts healthy and right. Not to mention it’s the way of Jesus. And I believe He would say – go and do likewise.
Jesus, forgive me for when I have made life about me. I choose to live a humble life, dedicated to your fame, not my own. In your name I pray, amen.