At the beginning of last year, our family was talking a lot about “good character” and what it looks like to be individuals with good character. As a family with young children, we created a reward jar for any time we saw a family member exhibiting what we defined as good character with a big family prize once we filled the jar completely. We started strong adding to the jar but it didn’t take long before little whispers of “hey mom, did you see that? That was good character right? You need to add to the jar. I did more than __________. ” started to become frequent. While I think our kids sincerely wanted our acknowledgment of their hard work and to be seen while doing it, it brought forth the discussion of boasting and comparison. In Matthew 6:1, Jesus is speaking to the crowds about giving to the needy. When we give or serve freely (no strings attached), we are emulating God’s love. Comparison quickly becomes the thief of joy. Let’s be people of God who don’t look to those around us for recognition for our generosity or compare others giving to our own. Instead, let’s clothe ourselves in humility. God sees our hearts, our character, and our deeds, we can rest knowing our reward is in Him, the maker and creator of Heaven and Earth.
"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.”