Matthew 6:1-4 says,
“Be especially careful when you are trying to be good so that you don’t make a performance out of it. It might be good theater, but the God who made you won’t be applauding.
“When you do something for someone else, don’t call attention to yourself. You’ve seen them in action, I’m sure—‘play-actors’ I call them—treating prayer meeting and street corner alike as a stage, acting compassionate as long as someone is watching, playing to the crowds. They get applause, true, but that’s all they get. When you help someone out, don’t think about how it looks. Just do it—quietly and unobtrusively. That is the way your God, who conceived you in love, working behind the scenes, helps you out.” (MSG)
Why do you do good deeds? Is it so the people around you can look at you in awe? Is it so you can impress the people you help? Or is it because you saw something wrong and had the time/resources/authority to make it right?
In a perfect world we would always pick option three. Unfortunately, we don’t live in a perfect world yet. That is why we must make the choice every day that we are not the center of the universe; that we can help others and not make a big deal about it; that there are people around us with needs, and we can help meet those needs.
While in our heads we know that a perfect world will never be achieved this side of heaven; we can still follow our hearts in trying to get it here early. We may not always be happy, but we can always be kind. We’ve all had the experience of a rough day being turned around because someone else took a moment out of their day and gave us a compliment, held a door open while our hands were full, or simple smiled and said, “I’m glad you’re here.”
There are plenty of issues and arguments going on that make the world a worse place. I pray that the church can be a legion that wants to give water to the thirsty, food to the hungry, and kindness to the stranger. Jesus says in Matthew 25, “Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you did it to me.”
Go love people. Do something to make someone’s day a little bit better.