Ada — “Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven.”— Matthew 6:1
There is a temptation to seek glory for any good work that we may do, rather than deferring the honor to God. When we glorify ourselves for the things that we do, we fail to realize that we are not the source of our good works. (John 15:5) If we have adopted a spiritual mindset, we begin to see that we are all a part of a body working together with a common goal and not individuals with our own agendas.
The purpose behind all of our works is not to magnify ourselves but to glorify God. In fact, it is really not even us at work. As Christians, we are simply vessels that contain the Holy Spirit which works through us. (1 Corinthians 6:19) Therefore, any time we take the glory for the works that we do, we are stealing from the Creator, who deserves praise and glory far beyond comparison. We make ourselves out to be equal with God as if we deserve the praise more than He does.
Does the approval of man mean as much to you as the approval of God?
Christ gives examples of this by saying, “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. But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you. 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. But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.”—Matthew 6:2-6