Children’s Sermon

Matthew 23:1-12

The Right Reason

By Lois Parker Edstrom

OBJECTS SUGGESTED: A report card, a sports sweater, sheet music, art work – anything that illustrates the activities mentioned below.

We like the approval of others. It feels good to do well in school, excel in a sport, hear the applause of the audience at a music recital, see a picture we have painted in an art show, or have someone thank us for helping them.

These are all good things, but we are reminded, by the words of Jesus, to do things for the right reason. In the Bible Jesus uses the example of the Pharisees who know God’s law, but try to impress others with how smart and important they are. He says the Pharisees “say, and don’t do” which means that they say the right things, but do not carry out those good deeds in their actions (23:3).

The lesson we can learn from this story is that when we achieve and do good things, we may feel satisfied with the progress we have made, but our goal should not be to impress others with our accomplishments. When we help someone we should not expect thanks, but rather be thankful that we could help. It is enough to know that we have tried hard to do our best and that we are learning and growing.

Being true to ourselves and honoring God – doing things for the right reason rather than
doing or saying things to try to impress others, will help us develop a humble spirit and the Bible tells us that God values and rewards a humble spirit.

Scripture quotations from the World English Bible
Copyright 2007, Richard Niell Donovan