Do You Want Your Reward Now, Or Later?

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Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 6:1)

You always knew when a Pharisee was about to perform a good work. Trumpets blasted before they gave to the poor. They knelt on street corners before they prayed. They were loud and proud about their religion.

They wanted the world to know that they were serving God. They wanted the praise of men.

And they got their reward. People respected the Pharisees for their religious zeal. But that was all that they got. No reward from God. No honor from the only person who truly matters.

When I “practice righteousness” so that other people will give me praise, that’s all I get. The lame, unimportant, unsatisfying praise of others. When I lead worship, or serve a brother, or write a blog post, or give advice, or post a status update, purely for the compliments of people, that’s my reward.

Lord, help me serve you, for Your glory.

  • http://twitter.com/taylormatthews @taylormatthews

    Great comments! May we all treasure God that our hearts will be with him and not with the praise of men.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/StephenAltrogge StephenAltrogge

      Amen to that!

  • http://twitter.com/MattRodatus @MattRodatus

    One of the most encouraging things I heard from Piper recently was the fact that he has to crucify his desire for the praise of man every day. We all have to. We'll constantly struggle with our flesh this side of heaven. We desperately need to simply be faithful and to remember that we are unworthy servants (Luke 17:10).

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/StephenAltrogge StephenAltrogge

      Yeah there's something encouraging about knowing that guys like Piper struggle with this kind of thing. I always struggle with this, but I want to love the praise that comes from God, not from men.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000560077180 Jen Altrogge

    Wow, I don't think I've ever thought about it that way. Thanks for bringing out those truths from Scripture!

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/StephenAltrogge StephenAltrogge

      It's always nice when my wonderful wife comments on a post!

  • Susan

    Have you read The Prodigal God by Tim Keller.. Check it out….it's awesome!

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/StephenAltrogge StephenAltrogge

      I haven't read it. Why did you like it?

  • elizabeth

    I barely get any praise!:)…..okay with all seriousness I do think man is overrated and sometimes we just like all the attention. The thing about this it has to be a balance ..not of false humility …..I do think that there needs to be brought up here how Jesus hung out with tax collectors etc…..do get my drift? I mean to say is that even though he didnt care what men thought of him he also wanted to be in their company and that is not to be condemned, right?