You’ve probably seen news stories about good samaritans. A random stranger performs an act of kindness for someone in need, and all of a sudden it goes viral! Sometimes though, it’s not a bystander who points out this good samaritan’s deed. Instead, it’s the good samaritan who proudly shares it with the world. They get what they want out of it — attention. Adulation. But not always.

I remember an acquaintance of mine who shared the story of how every Valentine’s Day his sisters would visit widows, realizing what a hard day it must be for them. They would bring them little gifts. I was surprised not only by their consideration of others but that these ladies had never mentioned a word about it.

This is how believers are to be in our kindness to others. Jesus taught that those who perform acts of kindness for all to see are doing so for themselves alone, not out of the goodness of God’s grace. He mentions that those people won’t ever receive anything more than the momentary praise from others. God sees what we are doing and knows our motives.

God’s children should be kind to others at all times, even when no one is looking. Our reward is given by God so it is much better than anything people could give us. And although we may not know exactly what the reward is, we should strive to maintain humility when giving to others and serving them, neglecting to point to ourselves.

Dear Lord, let me do everything out of love for you and your people. Let me not become puffed up with pride and the desire to be seen. Instead, let the focus fall on you so that others will come to know you through my actions. Amen.

Go Deeper — As the holiday season draws near, think about ways to give and serve others. Find some activities that you know you won’t receive recognition for and do them with joy because it pleases God and not man.

Tags: Sermon on the Mount Matthew 6
Photo Credit: Taneli Lahtinen