Wednesday, January 14, 2015

A Temptation for Mamas

Have you ever seen the Mommy that is perfect in public?  The one with the calm, sweet voice and impeccable relations with her children?  While I applaud patience, I really do, I've noticed a temptation for mothers.  It's this - to be the most patient, kind and sweet Mama in public.  But, oh boy, wait'll you get home.  Mama turns into a bear. 

Matthew 6:1
"Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven." 

Matthew 6:2 - "When you give to the poor..."
Matthew 6:5 - "When you pray..."
Matthew 6:16 - "Whenever you fast..."

This chapter gives guidelines for how to practice your righteousness.  He condemns blowing a horn when giving money.  He doesn't like the praying fancy prayers in public, just so people think you're amazingly spiritual.  He says that you shouldn't try to look homely just because you're fasting.  It's a theme in this chapter and the result is always that if you practice your righteousness to be noticed by people, that is your reward.  That's it.  No reward in Heaven.  No commendation from the Father.  Nothing.  If you please people, that's what you get, their approval, but nothing eternally worthwhile. 

I've long since thought that treating my children how I'd want to be treated is everyday obedience to God.  Fleshing out such commands like "love your children" and "train up a child..." are more ways that I obey Him.  These are the nitty-gritty of me practicing my righteousness, if you will.   And the real deal happens at home.  At home when no one is watching how I speak to my children.  When no one is taking notes on how patient I'm being today.  The command is just as relevant as when Jesus spoke it ages ago...

Mamas, beware of practicing your righteousness to be noticed by people.