Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven – Matthew 5:16
Everyone appreciates good works. Many people do good works. Philanthropists, volunteers, and evenHollywoodstars are seen doing good works around the globe every day. But “good works” is not what God is interested in. God is supremely concerned for the glory of God.
It is for this reason that Jesus was not satisfied to simply command charitable deeds, random acts of kindness, or the many other good works that all the world hails. Rather, Jesus tells us, “Let your light so [even so, after this manner] shine” that when people see your good works, they will praise—not you, but—your Father in heaven.
When you have opportunity to help others, be courteous, show love, give of yourself—are people encouraged to give you credit, or do you point them to Christ as the source and motivation for any good that you do? It is so easy for our pride, our selfishness, and our people-pleasing nature to take even our best Christian efforts and turn them into an occasion for self-glory.
But, amazingly, Jesus himself never did that. He always pointed to his Father, gave his Father credit, directed the attention to his Father. If the Son of God himself would disdain to receive the acclaim of men for his good works, how much more should our lives be mirrors that reflect the glorious goodness and grace of our God?