Would You, If No One Noticed?

In today’s age of the internet, technology, and social media, everyone wants to share everything that is happening all the time. I touched on this subject a couple months ago, but I want to look at it in a different way today. Matthew 6:1 has a warning for us:

Watch out! Don’t do your good deeds publicly, to be admired by others, for you will lose the reward from your Father in heaven (NLT).

We can argue some other time about these rewards in heaven, they’re not the point of this post.

I recently watched an episode of the new show Secret Millionaire on ABC (watch the episode I watched here). There was a lot to like about the show (highlighting great non profits gone largely unnoticed, showing the impact people with money can make by giving a little) and probably a lot to dislike about it as well (you can rant about that somewhere else). But at the end of the show I had to ask myself: “Do I think she would have given all the money away if this didn’t air on national television?” Of course, a pretty judgmental question to be asking but it’s what ran through my head.

I often ask myself questions like this about things related to church: “Are they motivated to do that because people will see them to be Godly?” or “Is this what they did or what God did?”

This weekend my church is leaving our building to serve the community around us. It made a little bit of local news already. I’m not sure how I feel about that. Are others wondering if we’re doing this to make news like I’ve questioned about the tv show? I know my church isn’t doing any of this to get noticed, but perception is reality and I’m sure many will read the news as our Christian ploy to make ourselves look better.

You might say to me, “Settle down, this is really just a matter of where your heart is.”

So I ask you…when people share their good deeds in public, is it good as long as their heart is in the right spot?

Or is it more complicated than that?