Pride is my sin. There is no way for me to deny it. This passage from today’s gospel is all about pride. These verses hold a special significance for me because of something that happened to me a few years ago.
I have an elderly couple that live across the street from me and one winter day we receive a few inches of snow. I shoveled my driveway and was enjoying my Pandora playlist so much I decided to shovel their driveway also. The husband had a stroke earlier that year and the man who typically shovels for them was at work. Anyway, I was feeling pretty good about myself and my generosity. Oh, by the way, I typically don’t shovel. It’s not my thing…most outdoor work isn’t my thing. So because it’s not my thing, and I didn’t just do it for my family, but also a neighbor in need, I’m like…the person ever! I was already planning to text my dad that I had taken care of our driveway, I figured I should let him know I did their driveway as well. About halfway through shoveling, the Holy Spirit tugged on my heart. You know what he said to me? These exact verses! Oh yes, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. Don’t boast to Daddy the good deed you’ve done. Don’t point out your kindness to the elderly couple so you’ll receive special thanks. No, let your Father in Heaven see what you do in secret.
This passage reinforces the need to store up our treasures in Heaven and not to seek the acceptance of men. The only one we need acceptance from is our Lord. Our only goal in earthly life should be to reach eternal life. Letting the neighborhood know what a nice thing I did would be worldly focused, I would be like the hypocrites that don’t do anything nice in private but are sure to do things with an audience. I’m reminded of who I’m meant to be living for. It’s not my neighbors or parents, I don’t need their praises to inflate my pride. Rather, I need to praise God through small private good works that bring him praise and inflate my humility.