The word translated ‘heed’ in this verse is PROSECHO (Pros-e-kho) and means to attend to, be attentive, give attention to, devote thought and effort to. In other words,, think about your reasoning for doing so. Jesus is warning us that it’s natural for us to want others to think well of us, so He warns us to pay attention to what our intent is. We might even start out with the right intentions, only to find later, the praises and glory received from men, has now become what we seek.
It’s not wrong to feel good about doing good deeds; and it’s not wrong to be pleased that others think well of us—but in both, Satan can twist our good intentions into something false and not pleasing to God—this is what Jesus warns us of—We need to be watchful that our intent is kept pure. Doing charitable deeds because we love and care for others is a good thing,, but if we are doing it to gain man’s approval—or even God’s approval, it does us more harm than good.
Those receiving our benefits, still gain the same by them, but we have lost our reward. Or more dangerously, it becomes a work mentality to please God to receive promises from Him,. We are then being led in the wrong direction and have wrong knowledge about God and who He is. This happens far more often than what we think.
Matthew continues on in the next few verses and tells us to let our deeds be done in secret, even from ourself. This is one way to avoid seeking man’s glory. However, we do need to receive feedback from time to time, if not just to see if we are making a difference. We also need to set examples for others. Most of the things we do in life, even within the church, are things we have first seen others doing. Doing good doesn’t come natural, we must learn it. Jesus isn’t telling us to hush up totally, He’s just warning us to be on guard so our intent remains pure. Kind of like watching the expiration date on foods that might spoil.
Our verse explains that once we learn to master the art of doing good correctly, it adds interest to your heavenly account, you might say. Maybe God’s way of saying, “Job well done.” It doesn’t tell us what the reward is, but any type of reward given by our heavenly Father.—The Creator of all things, is worth going after. We should also take heed of this, because Satan can distort our thinking in this area too, so that we think it’s wrong to please God. We should always want to please God, but where it spoils on us, is if we think we “must” please God to receive His benefits. That’s works.... and a lie. God gives us freely, no strings attached.
Father, may I always be more pleased to receive Your approval and rewards than I am in seeking mans approval. Help me keep my mind alert and watchful--quick to chase away any evil intent. Give me discernment to see the difference in pleasing You and manipulating you for gain. Thank You Lord, for Your constant prayers for me. Keep my eyes open that I will always heed your warnings well. In Jesus’ name, Amen.