“So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.” — Matthew 6:2
Shine Your Light
There seems to be a deep-seated fear in Christ-followers to talk about the good things they do or accomplish. The heart behind this is noble, but shrinking back from being the “city on a hill that shines its light” is not glorifying to God. Oftentimes we believe that being humble means devaluing ourselves or, in extreme cases, not stepping into anything spectacular out of fear of being prideful.
But not being who God created us to be, or neglecting opportunities to influence and impact others out of fear of being recognized, is not glorifying to God. On the contrary, throughout Scripture we are reminded to “work out our salvation” (Philippians 2:12), “let our light shine so our Father in Heaven can be glorified” (Matthew 5:16), and warned that “faith without works is dead” (James 2:17). So if we are to engage in righteous acts, how can we prevent ourselves from being prideful and ensure we have a humble spirit?
In Matthew 6, Jesus doesn’t say we are to refrain from giving. What He is warning is that when we give, our acts don’t determine our worth or identity. Here, Jesus is cautioning believers to not find value and worth in what they do or how people perceive them.
True humility is not denying who you are or what you have done, it is knowing the right context to express it, and being certain that human accolades are no match for the value God places upon us.
— Reza Zadeh, Denver Broncos chaplain
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