A Devotion May Be Someone's Only Bible

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Watch the Intent

Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.  Matthew 6:1 NIV

watch the intentOccasionally, I must monitor the intent of my actions.

Sometimes, I suffer from PPPS syndrome (People-Pleasing-Praise-Seeking), which comes and goes depending on social situations and my need for others to see me as worthy.

The following hyperbolic prayer offered in a group meeting illustrates PPPS: “Lord, please bless that homeless man whom I spoke to yesterday as I was trudging through the snow to the children’s hospital to read for Story Time. Help that man to buy food with the money I gave him instead of drugs. And after I finish my fast tonight, help me to find him again so I can buy him lunch and tell him about Jesus. Amen.”

Note the number of Is in the prayer—a classic example of PPPS.

Jesus warned His disciples about doing good deeds to receive praise from people. He was not saying not to do good things but to do them secretly so that only our heavenly Father sees. Further, Jesus promises that the Father will reward us for practicing secret acts of kindness.

What are the rewards, and when will we receive them? Can the Father’s rewards outweigh the immediate gratification we receive when people admire us because of what we’ve done? Throughout the Bible, we are told that the Lord rewards the righteous. But my praise-seeking heart sometimes wants to cash in now, causing my PPPS to flare up.

But there’s hope.

Let’s revise the PPPS prayer: “Lord, please bless (fictitious name to protect the man without a home) and help him to know Jesus. May he receive the help he needs to heal physically, mentally, and spiritually. Amen.”

That prayer might also encourage others to get involved in the man’s life.

Throughout history, others have praised philanthropists for their generosity, but doing good deeds for the Father’s eyes only and waiting on Him for our rewards takes trust—trust that Jesus is telling us the truth.

PPPS syndrome is not an official diagnosis. But although it may be fictitious, my people-pleasing tendency is real.

What steps can you take to help with PPPS syndrome? 

(photo courtesy of pixabay.com.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

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Grace Assante

Grace Assante has enjoyed various writing projects over the years, and after attending the 2022 Asheville Christian Writers Conference, she was inspired to learn the craft of writing well and not to give up on her dreams of publication. She and her husband live in Brooklyn, New York, and are blessed with three grown children, two wonderful daughters-in-law, and three adorable grandkids. She enjoys traveling, reading, taking long walks with her husband, and meeting friends for coffee.