It is possible to do the right things for the wrong reasons. Jesus warns us that one reason people do this is to gain the approval of others. He gives three specific examples of how the practices of giving to the needy, prayer, and fasting can be used for personal social gain and not for Kingdom. He then gives us the way to practice these with pure hearts. Practice them to glorify God.
Living and longing for the approval of others is like chasing a mirage in the desert that will always disappear when you get close.
GIVE TO THE NEEDY
Followers of Christ have been given clear eyes to see the needs, and new hearts to respond to them.
What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men. That is what love looks like. -Augustine
Prayer is not something you should do. It's something you can do.
Prayer is not about getting things, but getting God.
We must begin to believe that God, in the mystery of prayer, has entrusted us with a force that can move the Heavenly world and can bring its power down to earth. -Andrew Murray
Father, change this situation or change my heart to see it the way You do.
It’s hard to pray without ceasing when you start the day without praying.
Fasting is not a hunger strike to make God move, it is a reminder that God is enough.
Fasting does not make God more attentive to your prayers. It makes you more attentive to God.
Our reward is God.