Love... Is Not A Public Display
If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven...
In school, show and tell is helpful. Kids learn about their classmates and practice public speaking. Adults play show and tell, too. But often, their showing becomes showboating: a shiny display of their lovely hearts: as seen by their stuff or their works.
In our culture, showboating is so common, it seems normal. Therein, pride, envy and acquisition are worldly drumbeats directing our steps... or pacemakers directing our hearts.
In our churches, showboats should be shored or sunk. Therein, humility, sharing and giving are godly drumbeats directing our steps. Our only Pacemaker is God.
Because the love of God is not a public contest, where points are awarded by the quantity of dollars given, baptisms performed, Verses memorized, mission trips taken, awards received, years in Christ, bodies in church, charitable deeds or sacrificial acts.
Remember the poor widow who gave two small mites.** God measures love by the quality of our hearts.
Note to self: When we advertise our good works for the purpose of gaining applause, they are diminished. Love is a private gallery, not a public display. Love is a duty, not a contest.
Therefore, we love.
## Love Series: Love Is Not A Gallery (Part 8)
* 'Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, Who sees what is done in secret, will reward you' (Matthew 6:1-4, NIV).
** 'He looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury, and He saw also a certain poor widow putting in two mites. So He said, 'Truly I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all; for all these out of their abundance have put in offerings for God, but she out of her poverty put in all the livelihood that she had' ' (Luke 21:1-4, NKJV).
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Love series.