WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
FEBRUARY 28, 2021
TOPIC: STOP SHOWING OFF
BY T. O. BANSO
“When you do good deeds, don’t try to show off. If you do, you won’t get a reward from your Father in heaven” (Matthew 6:1 Contemporary English Version).
To some people, the essence of life is to show off. Whether it has to do with secular or spiritual things, their goal is to show off. They dress, pray, preach, give and do everything to show off. This should not be so.
In Isaiah 39:1-8, the Bible tells the story of King Hezekiah, a generally good king who went into error when he showed off. He was sick and would have died but God cancelled the appointment he had with death. He healed him and added fifteen years to his life.
The king of Babylon, Merodach-Baladan the son of Baladan, heard about his recovery and sent letters and a present to Hezekiah. Hezekiah was pleased with them and showed the envoys the house of his treasures — the silver and gold, the spices and precious ointment, and all his armory. He showed them everything in his house or in all his dominion excluding nothing (verses 1-2).
You would wonder why Hezekiah had to do this because the envoys of the king of Babylon didn’t come to see his treasures; they came to see his health. From this passage, there was simply no connection between his recovery from illness and his decision to show off his treasures, wealth, and military strength.
Hezekiah had been healed supernaturally by God (2 Kings 20:1-21). Instead of Hezekiah using the opportunity of the visit to testify to the power of God and show gratitude to Him, he chose to engage in the folly of showing off.
The Bible tells us in 2 Chronicles 32:24-26 about Hezekiah’s healing and his error in showing off. “In those days Hezekiah was sick and near death, and he prayed to the LORD; and He spoke to him and gave him a sign. But Hezekiah did not repay according to the favor shown him, for his heart was lifted up; therefore wrath was looming over him and over Judah and Jerusalem. Then Hezekiah humbled himself for the pride of his heart, he and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the wrath of the LORD did not come upon them in the days of Hezekiah” (New King James Version).
Did you see the reference in that scripture to Hezekiah’s ingratitude to God? He did not repay according to the favor God had shown him, for his heart was lifted up. His heart was lifted up when he failed to show forth the praise of God but showed off.
King David says, “O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall show forth Your praise” (Psalm 51:15 New King James Version). The writer of Psalm 79 says, “So we, Your people and sheep of Your pasture, will give You thanks forever; we will show forth Your praise to all generations” (verse 13 New King James Version). Hezekiah failed to show forth the praise of God to his foreign visitors. Rather, he showed off. He failed to magnify God but himself.
When the prophet Isaiah went to Hezekiah and asked him about his visitors, where they came from, and what they had seen, he told him they were from Babylon and they had seen all that was in his house and he had shown them all his treasures excluding nothing.
Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “Hear the word of the LORD of hosts: ‘Behold, the days are coming when all that is in your house, and what your fathers have accumulated until this day, shall be carried to Babylon; nothing shall be left,’ says the LORD. ‘And they shall take away some of your sons who will descend from you, whom you will beget; and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon'” (verses 5-7 New King James Version). Hezekiah’s reply was that the word the LORD had spoken was good because he thought at least there would be peace and truth in his days. That response appears to be selfish. It gives the impression that he was only concerned about his reign.
Even if there is another interpretation of Hezekiah’s response to what Isaiah said, we must learn a lesson from his showing off. A desire to show off will make one act foolishly and act out of reason. There is a tendency to be unreasonable in your action when your goal is to show off.
Don’t show off anything, whether it is your intelligence, knowledge, wealth, beauty, or achievements. There is no need for this. There is nothing you have that you didn’t receive from God (1 Corinthians 4:7). God owns everything you have. You are just a steward. Be a good and faithful steward, not a carnal, vain, and boastful steward. Don’t show off anything; show forth the praise of Him who gave you what you have.
As I have said, if you have a desire to show off, you will end up doing some unreasonable or foolish things. Have you not seen how ladies who are hungry to show off their beauty go to the foolish extent of engaging in nudity? After trying everything to draw people’s attention to their beauty and they appear not satisfied with the response they’re getting, they begin to engage in oddity, exposing parts of the body that sane people would cover. They do strange things to display their beauty. Men could also show off by doing some odd things too to call attention to themselves.
If you have been showing off, stop it. If you haven’t, don’t emulate anyone who does. 1 Corinthians 10:31 says whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. Don’t show off. Don’t draw people’s attention to yourself; draw people’s attention to God. I am not against advertising your businesses or services. There’s nothing wrong with creating awareness for your products and services to generate more sales or patronage.
Many people who show off have nothing to offer or have something to hide! It could be that they have no substance or they’re empty. “Better is he who is lightly esteemed, and has a servant, than he who honors himself, and lacks bread” (Proverbs 12:9 World English Bible). Unfortunately, the time those who show off should spend in investing in themselves and building up themselves is what they waste in seeking attention and, sometimes, exposing themselves to unnecessary attacks, spiritual or physical.
The people of the world show off but a child of God must not copy them whether you’re a student, businessman, or pastor. Don’t show off; stop it if you’re guilty of this. “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will know what God wants you to do, and you will know how good and pleasing and perfect his will really is” (Romans 12:2 New Living Translation).
Philippians 2:3 says, “Don’t be selfish; don’t live to make a good impression on others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourself” (New Living Translation). Your Christianity should not be for show. Jesus says about the teachers of religious law or the scribes and the Pharisees, “Everything they do is for show. On their arms they wear extra wide prayer boxes with Scripture verses inside, and they wear extra long tassels on their robes” (Matthew 23:5 New Living Translation). He talks about other things they did to gain attention (verses 6-11).
Don’t do ministry for show. Don’t serve in the house of God for show. As a Christian, don’t do anything for show. Matthew 6:1 says you should beware not to do your charitable or good deeds before men, to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.
Verses 2-3 says, “When you give a gift to someone in need, don’t shout about it as the hypocrites do — blowing trumpets in the synagogues and streets to call attention to their acts of charity! I assure you, they have received all the reward they will ever get. But when you give to someone, don’t tell your left hand what your right hand is doing” (New Living Translation).
As we have seen, Jesus warns in the Bible against exhibitionism which the scribes and the Pharisees are known for. “When you do good deeds, don’t try to show off. If you do, you won’t get a reward from your Father in heaven” (Matthew 6:1 Contemporary English Version). Did you see that? Don’t try to show off. Be motivated by love when you give, not the desire to show off and be seen or admired by people. Paul says though he bestows all his goods to feed the poor, and though he gives his body to be burned, but have not love, it profits him nothing. Glorify God in your body (1 Corinthians 16:19-20).
Don’t show off your wisdom, power, or riches. “Thus says the LORD: ‘Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, Let not the mighty man glory in his might, nor let the rich man glory in his riches’” (New King James Version). Humble yourself under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time (1 Peter 5:6). Jesus says whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted (Luke 14:11). Pride goes before destruction (Proverbs 16:18).
Weare in the last days when, among other things, people will be boastful and proud. Don’t flaunt anything; don’t show off. Do everything to the glory of God.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, I repent of any way I have shown off; forgive me, Lord. Holy Spirit, help me to humble myself and do everything to the glory of God. I will not be a show-off; I will be humble. In my service, good deeds, dressing, and relationship with people, I will not call attention to myself. Holy Spirit, help me to show forth the praise of God and not repay the favor He has shown me with ingratitude by showing off.
(For over 400 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit: www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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