Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.
Matthew 5:16 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
This verse is part of the Sermon on the Mount, immediately following the verses which talk about being salt and light to the world. Just after Jesus tells us to be light to the world and to let our light shine for all to see, He gives a specific command about how to shine. We shine by doing good works, but our purpose in that should be to glorify God, not to receive praise for ourselves. That light which we shine is God’s light in us, so if we take credit for the good works others see in us, we are stealing God’s glory. We need to do good and help others, not for our own praise, and not even just for them, but to glorify God, so that others will glorify God. If there is any amount of arrogance or selfishness in what we do, others will see us in it and not God. We need to be genuine and sincere in what we do, and do it out of love for God first, and others second. We need to desire to honor God in everything we do. If that is our heart’s greatest desire, everything we do will shine for Him. What is in our hearts always reveals itself in our actions. We need to make sure that our hearts are right first. Then our actions will follow suit. Where is your heart? Is it your desire for God to be glorified through your actions?
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