Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Treasures In Heaven.7

"Some do good acts only when they are certain of an audience. For these, there is no reward. When you give, do not behave like the hypocrites, who ring bells in the temple and parade in the streets. These have their own reward. Do not even let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. Give quietly and in secret; and your heavenly Father who sees such acts of kindness will reward you openly." 

Validation: official sanction, confirmation, substantiation, or approval.

Like it, love it, gotta have it.

The audience you play for largely determines the outcome of your actions. A violent, senseless beating of a young woman in McDonalds because she casts a glance in the wrong direction gets on YouTube; sadly there is an audience that approves of that and calls it good.

Common decency should recoil at the very notion of beastly behavior. Yet a distant cousin, Jesus points out, is the person who does what is commonly considered "good" only to increase their poll numbers among potential patrons. For the lover of good and God it too should be repulsive.

"The Lord cared neither for isolated truth nor for orphaned deed. It was truth in the inward parts, it was the good heart, the mother of good deeds, he cherished. It was the live, active, knowing, breathing good He came to further. He
cared for no speculation in morals or religion. It was good men He cared about, not notions of good things, or even good actions, save as the outcome of life, save as the bodies in which the primary live actions of love and will in the soul took shape and came forth.
Could he by one word have set at rest all the questionings of philosophy as to the supreme good and the absolute truth, I venture to say that He would not have spoke it. But He would die to make men good and true. His whole heart would respond to the cry of sad publican or despairing pharisee, 'How am I to be good?
--George MacDonald, Unspoken Sermons, The Way.

God's reward for goodness is His validation. His validation is in making us good. His is the only audience worth our attention. 
 "Father purify my heart 
that I care little 
for any judgment but yours..."