Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.
2 Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
3 But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth:
4 That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly. – Matthew 6:1-4.
One of the first things that come to mind when I read this is the “virtue signaling” problem of our culture. People love to tout their “tolerance,” that is no tolerance for others who do not praise them for the wickedness they boast of.
There is boasting in gender ideations, mask and vaccine mandate compliance, child abuse in the educational system, abortion, deplatforming voices of descent, and more.
The strange thing is, these “virtues” are not virtuous at all, but wickedness.
I also think about the “mark of the beast” that is to come. Could this be another opportunity for people to signal their so-called “virtue?”
On the other side, we have the seal of God—the seal of the Holy Spirit—which is within and unseen, not flaunted to be seen of man.
As those who are sealed by the promise of the gospel of Jesus Christ, let us be on-guard against all forms of “virtue signaling.” Maybe we do things that are indeed virtuous, not as those who call evil good and good evil, but as those who keep the teachings of Jesus and the apostles.
However, we should not do good so that others can view us as good, but instead do good for the sake of the good that is being done. In so doing, God rewards us.
We should not boast about the good things we do, but we can “let your light shine before man, that they might see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”
It all comes down to what motivates our actions, and Jesus will search this out by His Spirit. Are we doing good to bring glory to God as those who are faithful examples of Jesus in a dying world, or are we doing good so that we can pat one another on the back and feel ourselves morally superior to another?
The temptation to be morally superior and to flaunt our “goodness” can be dangerous. It is written that the false Christ will deceive many with flatteries. We can see this already.
People are flattered as being smart if they get vaccinated while those who don’t are stupid. People are flattered as being empowered if they murder their unborn babies while those who choose motherhood are called oppressed. People are flattered as being brave and authentic if they pursue gender confusion, while those who say that boys are boys and girls are girls are called bigoted.
Before long, many might be flattered into destroying their neighbor, all the while thinking that they are doing what is virtuous. Let us consider this.
I suspect that things will proceed in a manner in which many do not suspect, because that seems to be God’s way. It was when Jesus came. He was not what His people expected. Our pride, vengefulness, and other human nature flaws prevent us from seeing what He is doing.
This is speculation, but I wonder if the final false christ will seem to be a champion of the Christian people. It is written that he will turn on his own. What if he opposes all of those who currently oppose us, rounds them up, and destroys them—all the while encouraging us to join in? If we hate them already, what is going to stop us?
It is easy to look at the big sinners of the world and consider ourselves to be virtuous, and although we should make a stand for what is true and good, we should consider ourselves carefully. What motivates us?
If we are motivated by fear, pride, vengefulness, and other evil “spirits,” then we might be at risk of doing the work of Satan and not of Jesus.
“Many will kill you thinking they do God’s service, and this they will do because they have not known the Father, nor me.”
Do all things for the glory of Jesus, just as He did all things for the glory of the Father, and we will be kept from the flattery of the wicked and their seduction into destroying others in the name of virtue. Jesus will not cause us to signal our virtue in a self-righteous, proud manner. His seal is in secret, and He rewards His redeemed openly—not according to the rewards of this world, but His Kingdom.
This article is part of a series that considers the Parables of Jesus. Right now, we are looking at the statements Jesus made during His Sermon on the Mount, to which He referenced in His Parable of the Building on Rock and Sand. Visit the link for quick access to all articles written within this series. Subscribe for notifications of future posts.