“In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.” (Matthew 5:16 NLT)
For everything done--there should be a reason or purpose–and the purpose should be clear for all who are expected “to do” anything.
Jesus tells us to let our “good deeds” (those things we do that are good primarily for the benefit of others) shine–let them be seen by all. That is what we are to do. Why? So that everyone who sees our good deeds will praise our heavenly Father–not us!
Now, how many people do good things for others and then “run and tell” everyone who is willing to listen, what they have done. They do this to gain the praise of men for themselves–not for God.
In another passage of scripture, Jesus admonishes us to “not let your right hand know what your left hand is doing” and in yet another, He says, “What you do in secret shall be openly rewarded, but if what we do is for public acknowledgement, we have our reward” (paraphrased).
Why do we do the things we do? Is it for our glory and honor or His? Do we make public spectacles of ourselves to draw attention to us or Him?
I know that popular opinion dictates to people in how they publicize what they do and for most, it is a matter of “tooting your own horn” to get others to pay attention. The question for me then is, “how loud is your horn?” Does it play a melody or is it sounding brass? At any point in your “tooting” is God being glorified or is it just you making noise?
As we wonder why it is so difficult to draw others into the kingdom of God, perhaps we should look at our method to see if we are actually trying to “draw or drive” others into the God’s glorious kingdom. We can attract or we can repel people into loving God and obey His ways by what we do.
So, do what you do–just remember to let your light shine so when others see it–they know that God is the reason for what you have done, not self.