“The greatest treason is to do the right deed for the wrong reason”. Murder in the Cathedral by TS Eliot. These words are taken from the short play “Murder in the Cathedral” written by T S Eliot in 1935. The play is based on the martyrdom of Thomas Becket and his friendship with Henry II that led to his downfall. The words so clearly say that to be a hypocrite is ultimately to betray oneself.
Shakespeare said something similar about how important it was to be a sincere person when he wrote, “To thine own self be true” (Hamlet).
As followers of Jesus, we must remember that God wants us to be humble in all we do. Jesus does not want us publicising our good deeds so we get credit from others. We shouldn’t be advertising our positive actions to make a good impression on others. The Lord knows what we are doing and for the reason, the Lord is the only person who matters in these things.
Sometimes however, a good deed does become public knowledge because it needs to be to attract extra support. For example, if you are being sponsored to run a marathon. When this happens we need to remember to remain humble in our achievements and keep the charitable cause at the centre of our minds so that it informs our actions and our words. As Jesus reminds us –
“Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Whoever becomes humble, like this child, is greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.” Matthew 18. 3-4