Woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye love the uppermost seats in the synagogues, and greetings in the markets.Luke 11:43
Today I will begin with a quote from my good friend, Elder Michael Gowens, concerning the Pharisees attitude about religion.
“What is the point of living righteous if no one knows about it?”
Since the Pharisees and scribes believed their justification was based on their actions, they were very concerned that others saw those actions. There is no peace in seeking to self-justify so the approval of others becomes vital to “feeling better.” Or rather, making sure others see that you are more holy than they are becomes extremely vital. What a burden!
To have the chief seat meant that a person had either donated more money that others or done something else to “earn” the right to be seen as the most devout person.
These Pharisees also liked to be greeted by their man-made titles in the marketplace so that others would know how important they were.
Both of these, as well as other public shows of devotion, were the basis of the their religion. This is clearly shallow and self-serving.
Jesus taught against this attitude in the sermon on the mount. He taught to “let your light shine” but He did not say that we draw attention to ourselves on social media or in any public way. We are not to be Facebook Christians. In fact, Jesus taught that the way we let our light shine is to give, pray, and fast in private. This is not to say that we never let others see what we are doing. It means that we are not concerned about whether others see us or not.
Our devotion to the Lord is TO THE LORD. Not so that others can see how good we are. If we focus on the opinions of others like the Pharisees we will receive the same reward they did. Other people think we are good but God does not approve!