Text: Matthew 6
Have you noticed not much is sacred anymore – as in, separate or set apart? The digital age has created a world of oversharers and I (who was an oversharer to begin with) am the chief offender. We don’t keep much for ourselves these days, few moments left uninterrupted and unfiltered, few thoughts stored up in our hearts instead of in our social feeds. These ways of virtual connection aren’t a bad thing in themselves (ahem, hashtag SheReadsTruth!), but the nonstopping-ness of the internet can be a hard thing to resist.
Marinating in the magic of a singular moment without making it a multitasking event seems to be a lost art.
Jesus says in Matthew 6 that fasting should be done in a way that runs counter to our internet culture. He says it should be done in secret, done for the only One who sees in secret.
He says the same of some other things, too:
Do not make a loud scene when you give to the needy.
Do not be intentionally conspicuous when you pray.
Do not look sad and sick when you fast.
Collect eternal, unseen treasures; not temporary, tangible ones.
Focus on me, He says. Let it be our secret.
Then, in verse 25, He moves on to this: “Do not be anxious.” And it seems unrelated, doesn’t it? Let’s think on this a moment while I give myself a little pop quiz.
When I do something good and right because others are watching, does that stress me out? Well, yes.
When I act like a “good Christian” (one of my least favorite phrases, by the way) so that others will notice, does that make me anxious? Um, YES.
When my performance is motivated by the knowledge that I’m life’s stage (and the spotlight is on! everyone is watching! and I can’t mess up!) does that bring me peace? Nope. Not a chance.
Jesus knows our hearts, Sisters. His command for us to “be not like the hypocrites” is not just a directive; it is Him guarding in love the heart that He knows. A hypocrite is not honest with herself or others. Christ is saying to us here, You don’t have to be that way. Don’t worry so much about everyone else. Concern yourself with Me. Do these things for Me and with Me.
When we direct our eyes to Jesus rather than scurrying around, jumping through hoops to gain the favor of sinners just like us, we give up what is fleeting for what will last. We receive so much more in these sweet, secret, unnoticed, unannounced moments with our Savior than any other could in a lifetime give.