Monday, November 2, 2009

Wearing a Mask?

(Matthew 6:1-4) Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven. Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly.

Commentary: As Jesus speaks about the inappropriateness of doing deeds just to be seen and applauded by people, He uses a very strong word to describe those who practice these things: hypocrites (v. 2). The Greek term here is hupokrites, which is the word for actor. In ancient Greece, actors wore masks to convey emotion, so the term hupokrites was used to describe those who wear a mask, or who pretend to be something they are not. Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament says: "This is the hardest word that Jesus has for any class of people and He employs it for these pious pretenders who pose as perfect. They have received their reward." -Bill Crowder

My thoughts: With Halloween just having gone by this made me think. Wearing a costume one day out of the year is fun, but how many of us continue to wear a spiritual costume? Just like wearing make-up can hide flaws, we can also wear make-up for our soul. Jesus says that doing that is not right.

Lately, I have been thinking how overwhelmed I am by the cares of this life. Reading this, there is no need to pretend that I am not. It is good for me to be open and honest so that my brothers and sisters in Christ might be praying for me. It is good to open to the Lord about it so that I open the door for Him to help me.

I also thought about how I have been thinking that I am doing most of the work around the house getting it ready for sale. At times I loudly proclaim this. Ahh, the flesh! Yes, I need to remain silent and just do the work, and stop acting like I am perfect.