Be especially careful when you are trying to be good so that you don’t make a performance out of it. It might be good theater, but the God who made you won’t be applauding. 2 “When you do something for someone else, don’t call attention to yourself. You’ve seen them in action, I’m sure – ‘playactors’ I call them – treating prayer meeting and street corner alike as a stage, acting compassionate as long as someone is watching, playing to the crowds. They get applause, true, but that’s all they get. 3 When you help someone out, don’t think about how it looks. 4 Just do it – quietly and unobtrusively. That is the way your God, who conceived you in love, working behind the scenes, helps you out
When we put on a show it is for others and we are showcasing ourselves. The act of kindness, then, whatever it is, is for show and not genuinely out of a compassion that is real in us. The attention is drawn to us and what we are doing, giving, etc. rather than obedience to God, empathizing with the one receiving, bringing glory to God…The focus is what is not right. The spotlight is on us, and self is glorified.
Jesus ‘ whole tone here is to avoid trying to prove you are who you are. Just be that person. Avoid trying to impress, just be real. So if you are putting on a show, is it real? Is it self? That brings us back to our relationship with God. Are we dying to self and living for Him? If it is for us, can God work out His work through us?
Often insecurity is the driving force behind showmanship. When we are truly secure in our relationships, we don’t have to prove anything, we don’t show-off. When we are secure in our relationship with God, when we really believe what we believe is real, we don’t have to try to ‘prove ‘it; show-off.
And when you come before God, don’t turn that into a theatrical production either. All these people making a regular show out of their prayers, hoping for stardom! Do you think God sits in a box seat? 6 “Here’s what I want you to do: Find a quiet, secluded place so you won’t be tempted to role-play before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense his grace.
If your relationship with God is genuine, wouldn’t it be like any other? When you sit down to visit with a friend or brother/sister, do you put on a show? When it’s with someone you are close to, intimate with, share everything with do you have to put on a show proving you are their friend, proving your relationship with them is real.
Remember to keep our focus on God and His goodness. When our focus is on Him, we will do acts of kindness, pray, whatever, naturally, because we are becoming like Him, not trying to ‘act’ like him. The key is becoming — the reality of being.