“And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” (Matthew 6:18)
In his conversation with the woman at the well, Jesus said: “the hour is coming, and is now here when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such as these to worship him. God is Spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” (John 4:23-24).
A vast majority of Christians today are not sincere. Our worship is essentially eye service. Such worship of God, Jesus teaches us, attracts no reward from God. It is essentially useless. When Jesus said “God is spirit” he meant to emphasize the fact that God is not a human being who can be deceived by appearances or carried away by an external show of holiness.
If we humans get put off by persons who simply pretend to be our friends when we get to discover their hidden agenda, how much more is God who sees everything; who knows what we do in secret? As the Psalmist puts it: “O Lord, you have searched me and known me. You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from far away… Even before a word is on my tongue, O Lord, you know it completely.” Psalm 139:1-4.
The painful truth is that most of the time, it is not God we worship but our own ego. We do not really care about what God thinks of us but what people think. Our actions are done to attract the good opinions of people, to massage our ego; our sense of pride and accomplishment. The moment we notice no one is watching, we literally become demons.
Jesus wants us to replace people-centred worship with God-centred worship; to replace eye service with God service; to become secretive with good deeds rather than evil deeds. We don’t have to announce goodness before people to be rated highly by them but we must ensure that the things we do in our secret places attract the loudest applause of God.
Let us pray: Lord God, free me from inferiority complex; the desire to please people, and create in me a consciousness of your presence always. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Bible Study: 2 Kings 2:1,6-14, Ps. 31:20,21,24, Matthew 6:1-6,16-18)
© Rev. Fr. Evaristus Abu