Whitewashed Sepulchers

Matthew 6:1 “Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.”

I look at the people around me at my place of employment and even those that I speak to on the phone. One thing is certain; Most men will proclaim every one his own goodness. It is inevitable. To the worker that claims he or she is the only one in their department that is getting anything done, to the customer on the phone that claims they have been the best customer ever, while trying to get you to waive their tenth late charge. Many people are proclaiming their own goodness.

What has this got to do with Matthew 6:1, you ask? The Bible is pretty well consistent in that it shows the depravity of man. And man, when he is his most religious, wants other people to see him being religious. This was the downfall of the Pharisees, and if we’re being honest, many preachers and teachers of the faith today. They get so wound up in their outer appearance that they completely forget to deal with their inner workings.

They are doing their alms before men, proclaiming to everyone how good they are, and they have neglected that more important thing; their own heart. Are you giving at church so that other people can see you give, or are you giving out of compassion for the poor, and brokenness for the lost? Do you help out on those pot luck dinners and youth outings and couples’ banquets so that others see you work? Or do you do so because you want those people to grow in their relationships with the Lord and each other?

I have been a purveyor of false humility, I have been a Pharisee. I know how shallow it makes me feel. And I know that there is no reward like the reward of doing something in secret, knowing the Lord will reward me openly some day. It may not be here on Earth while I yet live in this body, and it will probably be all the sweeter for that, but the Lord says he will recompense good for good.

Please, friends and saints, do not be a whitewashed sepulchers. Pray in secret, give without fanfare, and for goodness sake, don’t complain about how busy you are in the Lord’s work. He will not give us more than we can handle; we usually do that to ourselves.

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