The Greatest Treason

treason

“The last temptation is the greatest treason: to do the right deed for the wrong reason.” – T.S. Eliot

I read that quote just a little while ago and it has really stuck with me. However, I don’t want to comment too much on it, but instead I want to encourage you to examine it and think it through.

Because, what I believe Eliot is getting at is that our heart, motives and desires actually do matter.

I believe that’s true, because, in Matthew 25, Jesus criticizes the Pharisees, not for their actions, but for their hearts. They were doing the right deeds for the wrong reasons.

And so, for me today, I’m thinking through not only my deeds, but also my heart. Because,

I believe that Eliot is onto something when he reminds us that the right deeds done for the wrong reasons are a great treason.

 

Heart, Motives, and Following Jesus

On Sunday we are looking at another difficult teaching of Jesus – we are looking at our heart and motives.1206356_27758998

The truth is that if you follow Jesus deeply and truly, lives will be changed in and around you. And people may even start to notice, respect, and trust you. This is all fine as it goes. The temptation though is this: that as you gain respect and trust you do good deeds not for Jesus, but for others.

Or more succinctly put the temptation is that you do good deeds and right actions not as a response to God, but as a response to others.

This is the temptation that I think we all face if we follow Jesus, and that’s what we are going to be looking at on Sunday.  Jesus says, “Don’t do your good deeds for publicity…When you give don’t even let your left hand know what your right hand is doing” (Matthew 6:1,4). We’re going to be exploring how it is even possible to follow this teaching of Jesus. Because normally it seems pretty impossible to give with your right hand, and to not have your left hand know what you’re doing. Jesus isn’t talking here about split personalities, but actually a whole and integrated heart.

So we’ll get into all of that.

But before we get there here is my question for you today, that I’m asking myself as well. Do I do good deeds for God, or for others? Do I do the right thing because I love God, or I love the recognition and admiration of others?

In essence the question is: What are the intentions with my actions? To be committed to God or to get credit from others?

Good question…