Lent 1.1: Being good not just pretending to be good

*all the Lent _.1 posts will be from a group of us who contributed to Nails & Thorns: Lent meditations 2006 (pdf)*

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01 March
Matthew 6.1-6, 16-18

Voices outside say “Christians are hypocrites. Voices within whisper “I can’t be myself in church, honestly I’m pretending to be nice.”. I know not all Christians are putting on a show to look good, and surely encouraging others in public for their good deeds is okay. But it’s hard to follow Christ in a world where every one should be “picture perfect” and without any flaw. Especially when we are already a small minority in Malaysia and it’s important to be a good testimony to others. So, we’re tempted to act religious – say the right words, sing the right songs, tell the clean jokes especially in the four walls of the church. After a while it becomes tiring and soon we’ll let the REAL us come out and that’s the show that will shock uncle and aunty in church! How can we be free from the need to impress others?

“… your Father… knows what you do in secret. And your Father who knows all secrets, will reward you.” (Matt. 6.18) This includes the good that we want to do as well as the mess that no one sees as well. Christ comes and says, “Stop all this pretending. I know who you really are. I set you free from the need to impress and my reward is enough for you to not just do good but be good.”

Action: Do a good deed this week and keep it secret.

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