Jesus says this in Matthew 6:1-4:
“Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. Otherwise, you have no reward with your Father in heaven. 2 So whenever you give to the poor, don’t sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be applauded by people. Truly I tell you, they have their reward. 3 But when you give to the poor, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”
It convicted me and made me stop and think. Why have I made all of my many YouVersion plans public? Because I wanted people to know I was reading the Bible. Why do I highlight so many things? To make sure people know I read the Bible. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with reading YouVersion plans or highlighting verses, but my reasoning has been totally off.
A couple weeks ago, I went on a week-long summer retreat with my youth group. The leader gave everybody some red yarn. It was just plain old yarn with a knot in the middle. He had us all tie the strings on our wrists. We would just go about our day, and every so often we would notice our bracelets. If the knot was off-center, we would take the time to recenter it–and refocus our lives on God. I found it to be a very helpful reminder, and I’m still wearing mine.
I need to refocus my life on God. I need to stop trying to impress my friends by completing ten devotion plans at a time. I’ve been reading the Bible for selfish reasons, not because it’s God’s desire. In the days to come, I’m going to work to refocus my life. I’m going to keep my eyes on God and not worry about making sure my friends see my accomplishments. I’m going to read, highlight, and learn for the right reasons, and I hope you do so as well.