When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.

Matthew 6:16

It is nothing short of gratifying to have put a lot of effort into something and have someone tell you that you did a good job. I think that encouragement is an important part of our work together as believers. There’s also something to be said for doing something in a way to lead others to do the right thing as well.

There is a different matter, however, which gets mixed up into setting an example and receiving encouragement. There is always the temptation to do the right thing in order to be praised for it. Fasting is a great example of this, and Jesus knew it. When a person fasts, there is no one who needs to know except the person who is fasting. Removing something from your life in order to dedicate time to God is an entirely personal matter.

The satisfaction that comes from doing the right thing, knowing that you will never get any credit for it, is immense. Don’t ask me how I know, that’s just something you’ll have to experience yourself!

Ethan Kirl

Originally Published September 15, 2020