To be seen or not be seen? That is the question --In His Word 9-21-15

To be seen or not be seen? That is the question --In His Word 9-21-15

When we do a special deed or bless someone with a financial gift, or something that will make their life better are we supposed to allow people to tell about our great work? Or are we to be humble and not receive the praise for a job well done?
My Bible tells me that if all I want is men's praise that is all I will get.
Look at the Pharisees and what they received...
Moreover, when you fast, do not be like the hypocrites, with a sad countenance. For they disfigure their faces that they may appear to men to be fasting. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward.  But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face,
Matthew 6:15-17

In the Word of God we read that we are not to be seen as suffering when we fast and pray, but to go around like normal on the outside. We are also told to let our lights shine before men, and not much further in the scriptures does Jesus say not to do your works before men to be seen of them.

Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heave Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, Matthew 6:1-3

So what are we to do; be seen or not be seen? That is the question I choose to address today.
You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.
Matthew 5:14-16

In today's multimedia time frame things can get 'out there' quite quickly and suddenly everyone can be in an uproar because someone took credit for someone else's glory.

I often wonder how God feels when we humans take credit for things He has done?
I mean, in the following scriptures we are plainly told that God is to get the glory, not us; yet we continually hear people saying 'look at me' I did this great thing. The same people will turn around and tell us to be quiet about boasting. Paul said that if he were to boast he would hope it were only in God's goodness not in himself because he knew where everything he did came from. We need to know and remind ourselves often that it is not about us, it is about God and His glory , His praise! I am not saying do not encourage one another unto good works, because we are to do good things for His glory.

So as I see it we are to do good things that point the arrow of praise to the Father who made both us and the thing that we are doing possible. If we did not have God to direct us to the thing in the first place, or to give us the skills or gifts to be able to share them then we would have no reason to boast. When we think about it boasting is overrated anyway. When we receive praise for a job well done how long does that glory last? They say your time in limelight is limited so this tells me that it is short timed. Whereas when we are praised by God it will be eternal!

I would much rather know that I am pleasing my God than mere people, though there are times when I feel the need to be appreciated. I believe as people created in God's image we are born with a need to be encouraged that what we are doing is right and good. There is nothing wrong in this as long as we do not forget where our abilities came from in the first place.
Its okay to know we are doing good in the Lord, just as long as we do not allow the praise to stop short with us but goes on to the Lord.

For instance, a group of church workers worked hard to get an event started; they planned, they purchased needed supplies and they presented the event to the people they invited to come. They even brought in someone to share testimony of the goodness of God in his life.
Everyone who came grew closer to God because of the Word that was given and the worship time drew them into a deeper relationship with Jesus as Lord of their life.

So who would get the praise? Would it be the event planners or the speaker/preacher?

I say neither should get the praise, but rather thankfulness for bringing the Word to our ears. I think the planners do a lot and though they do not do it to be noticed, we hope, they are instruments of worship few the One True God, the maker of the heavens and earth! No matter if you speak the Gospel or you change the toilet paper when you are all working together for the good of the Lord you are all worthy of appreciation and God will give it where He thinks it is due. But it is not for us to get the glory, but for Him.
Not to us, Lord, not to us, but to your name goes all the glory for your unfailing love and faithfulness. Psalm 115:1
So let us be grateful to God, give Him the praise for a job well done but let us give the people who bring it to us blessings and thankfulness. Thank someone who brought you the Word of God today, or brought you a word of encouragement from the heart. Let them know you are thankful, but give God the glory for the things He has done.

Dear heavenly Father, thank you for bringing your Word into our lives. Show us what to do with it! Give us someone to share with, or to encourage in Your love today, in Jesus name. Amen

Suggested Reading: Psalm 115:1-18, Matthew 5:1-48, Matthew 6 :1-34 and Romans 15:1-33