We are all glory mongers. The truth is, we ALL seek the praise of men. The weird thing about Christians though, is that often we seek the praise of men about our "Christian-ness". We want other Christians to think we're awesome Christians! Don't act like you don't know what I'm talking about. Here's an example: You are walking down the street and you see a homeless person begging for change. They ask for some cash, but you have none....so you shake your head and keep walking. But as you pass by, you think to yourself, "I may not have cash, but I've got a credit card, and there's a yummy taco shop across the street." You stop, gather your courage, and walk back to the beggar. "Hey, you want to grab some lunch?" "Sure!" he says. You're excited, he's excited and so off you go to the restaurant and have a nice lunch and some good conversation! "What an awesome thing the Lord allowed me to do!" you think to yourself as you part ways. And it truly was an awesome thing that the Lord used you to do, but the problem is in what comes next. After a few minutes of thankful excitement, pride starts to creep up in your heart..."I'd like someone else to know what I just did." So for the rest of the day you start to look for opportunities to bring it up in the middle of a conversation. You try to sneak it in here, and squeeze it in there, and nonchalantly mention it "in-passing" to whoever will lend you their ears for a few minutes.
This kind of thing happens all the time (at least with me). Maybe you give a significant amount of money to a family in need. Maybe you share your faith with a stranger on the street. Maybe you have an awesome quiet time in the morning while reading God's word. All of a sudden that little prideful part of your heart wants others to know. You want to share with others what an "awesome Christian you are." So you do! One of the newest, easiest, and most dangerous ways to pridefully promote yourself to others is via Facebook. "I just want to encourage my fellow Christians! I want to be a good example to them! That's why I share." Do you really? Or is it an ego thing? Announcing your good deeds on Facebook is a dangerous game and you can never be sure of your motives. A quick post to Facebook for a fleeting moment of pride could lead to an eternal loss of real riches!
The Hypocrites in Jesus' day used to announce their good deeds with trumpets. When they'd tithe money in the temple, they'd blow those bad boys nice and loud! "Look over here! Check me out! I'm giving my money to God! Hello! Look at me! Aren't I awesome?!" Jesus says "I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full," (Matthew 6:2).
Jesus says, when we give and when we pray we should do it in secret..."Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you."
The bottom line is this: Whenever we do anything for the praise of men, we ultimately forfeit our reward from our Father in heaven. I'm not saying to be a concealed Christian, but beware not to be a boastful one!
“Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven." - Matthew 6:1