The popularity of Facebook and other social media shows that people crave attention. They boast about how many “friends” or followers they have. Of course we humans do need to belong. The question, however, is how do we go about getting it? Some people resort to outlandish clothes, cars, expensive jewelry, the front seat at any event, the biggest office; some even resort to violence. Getting attention can make some feel secure. In Matthew Chapter 6, Jesus spoke about self-centered people who glory in praise—both public leaders and those who do good deeds. He said, “Watch out! Don’t do your good deeds publicly, to be admired by others, for you will lose the reward from your Father in heaven.” Jesus said boasting about charitable giving or good deeds forfeits any future reward from our Heavenly Father. Jesus urged humility in our giving and praying. Public praying might well be a time to recognize and praise God for His power and compassion and to humbly beseech God on behalf of others. But He alerts us that God is not impressed by our public display of giving and praying boastfully, especially when we do them just to receive public applause.

Dr. Melvin E. Banks, Sr. is the founder and chairman of UMI (Urban Ministries, Inc.). Under his direction, UMI has grown to be a leading publisher of Christian education resources for churches in the African American community. Read More

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