Jesus chastised the Pharisees for performing their charitable deeds and prayers on the street corners in order to receive glory from men. He recommended that they move it to the closet for a while to see if they were as pious in secret as they were in public. Hypocrisy always has a public side. But, like many of the paradoxes of Scripture, there is another aspect to public performance. Jesus also said, “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matt. 5:14-16).
Sometimes the godly are too secretive and the world grows suspicious, wondering what they’re up to. Wisdom calls for a balance and a consistency between what we do in secret and what we do in public. We shouldn’t perform publicly for show and neither should we hide genuine godliness. We represent Him and we should represent Him often and well. The Pharisees sought glory for themselves, when it was glory for the Father they should have sought instead. Our children, neighbors, friends and coworkers should see many examples of our love for Christ and His kingdom. They should hear us speak of Him and see us serving Him on a regular basis. In fact, when our hearts are right, we should make sure they see us. This why the Apostle Paul could humbly say, “Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ” (1 Cor. 11:1).