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Biblically, our mission as believers is to be a light to the nations. But there is an ironic component of this command: in being this light we aren’t supposed to draw attention to ourselves. As light in the world, we’re supposed to deflect any attention from us and onto our Father in Heaven. Furthermore, in being light, we are to conduct ourselves with true humility; not the kind that is designed to demonstrate to everyone just how humble we really are. 

“Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven. Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly.” (Matthew 6: 1-4)

Yeshua goes on to discuss other acts of obedience like prayer and fasting, but warns us to do these things for the right reasons. He admonishes us to do them in secret because, if done in public, we might be tempted to do them for the wrong reason. We might be tempted to do them in an effort to bring attention to ourselves. This demonstrates to us that it is quite possible to do what is commanded, but with the wrong motive. It is possible to misuse and misappropriate good deeds that we might garner glory for ourselves – all under the guise of righteous piety. Messiah makes it very clear that it’s not spiritually advantageous for everyone sees our righteous acts because that might lead us to behave in an unrighteous manner. In short, false humility is to be disdained and avoided.  

Let’s look at this practically: if a person feels it is necessary to include their spiritual “office” on their business card – e.g. prophet or apostle – then it might be that they’re not a prophet or an apostle at all. At the very least, this advertisement potentially cheapens the office they claim to hold. There is no need to broadcast our office or calling to the whole world lest we find ourselves doing exactly what Yeshua said don’t do. If someone operates in an office or gift, their actions and deeds will speak for themselves. Remember, the Messiah told us to do things “in secret” which is to say, discreetly. He told us to walk in humility and let our good works testify of Him and bring glory to our Father in heaven – not to ourselves. He sees what we do and what motivates us to do what we do. If we walk humbly before Him and pursue His kingdom and His righteousness, then He is lifted up. We need to live by a concept that John the Baptist proclaimed: We need to decrease so that He may increase, in us and through us. 

Shalom.

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