Do you ever "toot your own horn"? No, I don't
mean a literal horn or a trumpet. That phrase means to draw attention to
yourself for your own good deeds or accomplishments. Do you ever intentionally
seek to draw others' attention to yourself when you do something nice for
someone else? For example, if you do someone a favor, do you tell everyone
else about the favor you did so that they'll know how wonderful you are?
Did you know that, in the Bible, Jesus tells us not to do that?
|"Be careful not to do your 'acts
of righteousness' before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have
no reward from your Father in heaven. So when you give to the needy, do
not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and
on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received
their reward in full." –Matthew 6:1-2 (NIV)
Did you notice what else Jesus says if you do
"toot your own horn"? He explains that if you do that, then the
reward you will receive is the admiration or applause of those here on
earth who noticed the good thing that you did. And that might seem fine
at the moment, but in the long run, it isn't too smart. After all, someday
when you stand before God wouldn't you rather have something to show for
all of your efforts? Wouldn't it be so much better to do good things for
God than just for show to get credit from others? Don't you think that
your heart condition would be much more like that of Jesus if you do nice
things for others simply because you care about them since they are important
Now Jesus didn't mean that you have to hide or
keep secret all of the good things that you do for people. No, it is okay
for people to find out that you did something good. But it isn't okay for
you to bring it to their attention on purpose just so they'll think you're
great. Instead, you should do nice things for people because you care for
them and because you want to please God. In fact, when people notice that
you've done something good or nice, the best thing you can do is to give
the credit to God. For example, if you have given food to the poor and
someone else notices and says something to you about it, then you could
say, "Well, God is so good to me. He supplies me with all the food I need
and some extra, too, so I just wanted to share my blessings with others."
Just think of the benefits of giving the God the credit rather than taking
for yourself. Maybe others will start thinking about all of the good God
does in their lives, too. And maybe, just maybe, they might ask you more
about God and give you the chance to tell them about Jesus and how He can
You see, if your motives (the reason you do things)
are the right ones, then you will be pleasing to God and will receive a
reward far greater than just the approval of those around you. If you do
things with a loving heart for God, then you will receive lasting and eternal
rewards. And that is so much better than the result you'll
receive if you toot your own horn.
Copyright © 2002 Kimberly B. Southall.
All rights reserved.