I’ve been reading in Matthew lately. One of the most profound things that I’ve read is when Jesus tells the people not to do things certain ways, but to do them in a manner that honors God. He specifically says that when you fast, don’t go around sulkily like the hypocrites so that all will know you are fasting, rather put oil on your head. (paraphrase Matt. 6:17-18 HCSB)
Now I’ll be honest, I don’t know the spiritual significance of the oil, but I do have a really easy application that can be learned from Jesus’ words. Jesus is talking about fasting, but I want to further apply it to another area of life.
As a college student, fiancé, student pastor, etc. I don’t have much spare time, my nights are long and the mornings early. Some of my days are filled with everything under the sun. (I’m not complaining I’m just stating facts) Those things can overwhelm me and cast a shadow on the hope that is within.
I have kept being asked how I’m doing and I begrudgingly say something like, “just making it”. That is not what Jesus wants us to say, that’s not how He wants us to feel. He says we are to carry on not to show our disappointment to others as if to say, “look at me, I’m suffering for Jesus”; but rather to reflect the pure authentic joy of having Christ in us. The reward comes from whomever you seek it. If you’re intent on showing your struggle to people they will give you the reward, but if you secretly show your struggles to Christ He will reward you.
Don’t let your circumstances become the cloud that hides Jesus from someone who needs to see Him.