Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven.
I would be ashamed to view myself through the eyes of God. What I proclaim as holy, and what the Lord presents as holy, are worlds apart. It is rare that I have a day in which I can see clearly into my intentions. How much more transcendent my thoughts and actions must be to the very one that created these bones. I appear to be worshiping, but the Lord sees through to my thoughts. I appear to be praying, but Christ hears nothing. I appear to love others, but it is really a love for myself. Have you ever stopped to evaluate your own actions? It’s a humbling and painful procedure to go through. Why do you go to church? Do you attend prayer meetings with the anticipation of praying? When was the last time you carried a Bible with you to Bible Study? Have you ever participated in service projects or mission trips? What do you remember more, your friends or those you served?
It’s difficult to purposely walk through each day with Christ as your reason for living. Men, women, and even students have been struggling with this for ages. It must hurt the Lord so much to continually watch us fool ourselves into thinking we’re so holy. How much greater, however, God’s emotions must run towards those who knowingly and willingly live a double life. I believe with all my heart that God has a genuine disgust for this lifestyle. We forget that Christians are to fear the Lord. We forget that God has a deeply rooted hatred for sin. We believe the lie that tells us no one knows our hidden desires or our secret actions. We allow Satan to convince us that we can go to church on Sunday or Wednesday and cling to our worldly lusts throughout the week. Nowhere within us is the idea that we may get caught. We imagine ourselves to be invincible. We profess to be wise, but in reality, we are fools. How could anyone possibly expect to be rewarded in heaven for simply allowing Christ to die for them? This is not the case- we didn’t allow Christ to die for us. It was a gift, and God desires to see a change in heart if we accept that gift. Jesus warns us in Matthew that we will not be rewarded for simply practicing righteousness in front of others. Righteousness and holiness come from the heart.
It will be an honorable privilege to kneel at the feet of our Lord and hear Him say, “Well done my good and faithful servant”. We cannot, however, expect to hear those words if our righteousness is nothing more than a fancy show. We must daily make it a point to honor God in our hearts and when no one is looking. Only then will we begin to demonstrate a sincere holiness worked from the inside -> out.