Playing to Heaven

Today I am reading Matthew 6 as if it were a personal conversation with Jesus. And in this conversation He’s probing my heart, helping me sort through my motives. He reminds me that whatever I do needs to be done for Him rather than to impress the watching eyes of those around me.

My giving to the poor should be done to honor Him rather than efforts to call attention to myself. My prayers should be for Him rather than efforts to impress those who might hear. My fasts ought to be for Him rather than efforts to make myself look better.

Jesus asks me, who is your audience, who are you playing to? Are you doing what you do for yourself or for Me? Who applauds when you finish giving your gifts, saying your prayers, breaking your fasts? Do you hear the applause of the people you have managed to impress? Do you hear the applause of heaven?

As the conversation comes to an end, Jesus reminds me there are treasures on earth and treasures in heaven. In doing so He asks me the same question in a different way — what are you living for?

Jesus tells me that the way I answer this question, however it is posed, can be seen in whether or not I am worrying. Worry indicates I am not living for or trusting in Him who is unseen. Worry indicates I am all about the here and now. But when I am trusting Him who is unseen, I am living by faith. The here and now matters little. The applause and approval of men loses its appeal.

And it becomes about me living for God and to God.

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