To Be Seen Of Men – Matt. 23:5

To Be Seen Of Men – Matt. 23:5

“But they do all their deeds to be noticed by men; for they broaden their phylacteries and lengthen the tassels of their garments” (Matt. 23:5).

Religion can be heady stuff. You can begin with good motives and pride can subvert it all. It begins with sincere compliments and struggle starts. Now the ‘job’ becomes receiving praise and not the doing of the job itself!

Such was the pitfall of the scribes and Pharisees. They were religious, ‘blatantly religious’! However, it may have started with good intentions, and I think it did start with good intentions, yet it got shipwrecked on the rocks of pride. Notice how this was addressed by Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount:

·       "So when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honored by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full” (Matt. 6:2).

·       “When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full” (Matt. 6:5).

·       “Whenever you fast, do not put on a gloomy face as the hypocrites do, for they neglect their appearance so that they will be noticed by men when they are fasting. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full” (Matt. 6:16).

BUT, you say, it won’t happen to me! I pray not! Yet, even among the apostles, they contended about who would be acknowledged as the greatest.

What can we do? Always strive to do your best, even at being godly. BUT godly means to keep GOD at the heart of all your thinking and doing – NOT self! Learn to accept compliments without losing your perspective. Beware when all men speak well of you! Even with Bible knowledge, remember that “knowledge puffs up!”

Always compare yourself with God’s standard! That must be our criterion for judgment. With that, we will always be reminded that all that we have, all that we do, even all that we are able to do is a gift from God.

So, if I tell you that you are doing a great job at this, how do you take it?  

Hugh DeLong