Whenever our kids (9 and 7 years old) start complaining that the other one is slacking at chores, or receiving more dessert, or staying up past bedtime, etc., I say this one thing to them: “just worry about yourself”.
Anyone out there have to say the same thing to their kids?
Anyone out there WANT to say the same thing to a complaining coworker, neighbor, or friend?
Yep… there’s a lot of worrying about “what other people are doing” going on!
In the life of faith it is easy to be critical, this-or-that person is a hypocrite, a grouch, selfish, a liar, and on and on. Jesus message is simple: worry about yourself. We’ve been reflecting on Matthew 23 in which Jesus is condemning the hypocrisy of the religious leaders, but read now what he calls his faithful followers to do (in Matthew 6):
- So whenever you give alms, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be praised by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your alms may be done in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
- “And whenever you pray, do not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, so that they may be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward.But whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
- “And whenever you fast, do not look dismal, like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces so as to show others that they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward.But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that your fasting may be seen not by others but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
In our walk with God we are called to act regardless of what people see, do, or think… knowing alsways that God knows and God accepts us.
Because that is true… it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks!