Morning: Matthew 6:5-18; Noon: Exodus 31:12-34:35; Evening: Psalm 27
This is an ongoing problem in the religious world today. Religion has become man-centric rather than God-centric in many corners. The purpose of religion for some is nothing more than a means toward self-gain, namely exaltation over men. Through charitable deeds, prayer, fasting, singing, giving, preaching, evangelism, pious words, memory verses, and so much the more, these “men-pleasers” gain the praises of their fellow man and earn rank before their brothers and sisters. Though we must be careful about judging others and mislabeling a “Joseph” who is sincerely devoted to faith, Jesus pointed to the Pharisees as visible examples. Surely, we all can spot religious vanity when we see it.
How does a person overcome religious vanity? Much like physical vanity, a person overcomes by focusing more on heavenly things and less on earthly things. Instead of looking at men like mirrors to check the status of your soul, you look to God as the only important mirror into your soul. Examine yourself before Him and commit all your deeds before Him. Believe with sincerity the Scripture that has said, “and there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account,” and act accordingly. Do good deeds in secret without boasting or acknowledging them before others. Pray alone, and not just at the dinner table or when gathered together with others. Pray for those who hate you or despise you and say good things in secret, otherwise your words may be nothing more than lip-service face to face.
Sometimes my wife puts on make-up even when we’re not going out anywhere in the public, and I’ll ask her, “Why are you wearing make-up, honey?” She tells me, “I’m just wearing it for you.” That makes me feel extra special. She doesn’t just wear it when we go out in public. Many times, she wears it in the privacy of our home just for me. I think that it is a hint of what God feels when we wear it just for Him.
Will you wear it just for Him today?