Years ago, a county fair withdrew its championship title and prize money from a steer named Husker. They found that the owners had pumped the steer with air using a bicycle pump. What looked like a prize steer was nothing but air-filled hide. A pumped up steer is like a hypocrite. It appears to be more than it is. Jesus warns us of hypocrisy. Sometimes it is blatant; sometimes it is subtle. Here is a portion of what Jesus said, “Watch out! Do not do your good deeds publicly, to be admired by others, for you will lose your reward from your Father in heaven. When you give to someone in need, do not do as the hypocrites do –blowing trumpets to call attention to their acts of charity! I tell you the truth; they have received all the reward they will ever get. When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites who love to pray publicly on street corners and in the synagogues where everyone can see them. I tell you the truth, that is all the reward they will ever get. When you pray, don’t babble on and on as people of other religions do. They think their prayers are answered merely by repeating their words again and again. Don’t be like them, for your Father knows exactly what you need before you ask him!” Jesus says we should do our good deeds to honor God; not hypocritically to solicit praise from people.
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