“Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.” Matthew 6:1
In this verse Jesus points out that you are supposed to work at being righteous. He tells you that your are to practice your righteousness.
No one is born perfect and no one really does what is right before God without God’s leading. A person who plays a sport must practice everyday in order to get good at it. Being able to play any sport well does not automatically happen, it takes lots of dedication and practice.
As a believer you must practice living right before God. You must work at doing what God wants you to do.
However, Jesus tells you to be careful in how your practice your righteousness. You must not do it around others just to be seen by them.
Very often people in the church will do something for God and then will brag about it to everyone. They want to be sure that everyone has seen their “righteous” act.
This is acting just like the world. People in the world are always pointing out what they have done to look good. Many will even say they are a good person and deserve to go to heaven because of their good deeds.
Jesus states that if you do these righteous acts to be seen, then you already have your reward. God the Father will no longer give you a reward for that righteous act when you get to heaven.
This does not mean that other people cannot give you honor for doing something. What is not to happen is for you to purposely do it for that honor from a person. God may use others to honor you, but you must not seek that honor yourself.
Everything you do must be done for God and Him alone to see. Earlier Jesus had stated that you must do things so that the world will see and give God praise, not to give you praise.
Do not give up the rewards that God has in store for you. He is perfect and can give the perfect everlasting gifts. The praise of the world is only temporary and conditional.
I pray today that God will guide you in living a righteous life; that you will do the right things for God; that your heart will be focused on God; that all you do will be for God; and that God will reward you richly for your actions.