Matthew 5:16 NLT
In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.

PERSONAL COMMENTARY
———————————————

We do not advertise our good deeds to others, nor do we have to hide them from others. It is the reason behind our doing good deeds that matters, not the deeds themselves. If I am doing things with the purpose/intent of being seen by others, that is a selfish purpose, not a God centered purpose.

If we look at this one verse out of context or without understanding, we might compare it to the warning in the very next chapter and wonder if the author is contradicting themselves:

Matthew 6:1-4 NLT
“Watch out! Don’t do your good deeds publicly, to be admired by others, for you will lose the reward from your Father in heaven. When you give to someone in need, don’t do as the hypocrites do—blowing trumpets in the synagogues and streets to call attention to their acts of charity! I tell you the truth, they have received all the reward they will ever get. But when you give to someone in need, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. Give your gifts in private, and your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.

If I think that I have to hide my good deeds and not be seen, I have misunderstood the advice in chapter 6 and I have focused on the letter of the law instead of the intent of the Word of God.

If I think that I should do good deed for everyone to see so they know that I am righteous, I have misunderstood the advice in chapter 5 and I have focused on the letter of the law and not the intent of the Word of God.

The intent of this Scripture in chapter 5 can be better understood in the context of chapter 5 instead of alone by itself:

Matthew 5:13-16 NLT
“You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless. “You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.

It is the intent that we need to understand in both cases. The Word of God that is given to us is in the voice of the Holy Spirit. That Holy Spirit is God, and God is love. We are even told that all of the commandments and the law hang on loving God and loving others. So this is the voice from which the Word of God speaks. It speaks to teach us about Godly love, a love that is very different than the worldly definition of love (the false substitute of lust).

So this Word of God is not rules of written law like the laws of men that we read and examine and concern ourselves with the detail so we can measure ourselves as meeting the requirement or falling short of the requirement. No, the law measures things that can be seen and measured on the outside of a man, his words, his actions, etc.

But the Word of God speaks to that law that is written on our hearts, that guides us and directs us in our decisions, thoughts, actions, and words.

The law convicts us, because who can mee the perfect requirements of the law but Christ himself?

But the Word of God guides us and refines us. It guides us toward our final destination.

And some are veiled to the Word of God when they read these scriptures, and they can only see and hear the written law, the letter of the law. They are blind and deaf to the Holy Spirit and the intent of the Word of God.

But let us not be veiled, let us hear the voice of the Good shepherd, the Word of God. And if we find ourselves veiled, let’s surrender our lives to accepting Jesus Christ into our lives, let’s pray to receive this gift of the Holy Spirit, let’s be stirred in our Spirit so we hear His voice.

Because we are to be the Salt of the Earth, a bright shining house on a hill, and these are not our good deeds, but the good that Christ does through us, so let them see Christ in us, let’s give Him the glory and honor, as directed in chapter 5 where this single scripture, a piece of the Word of God abides:

Matthew 5:13-16 NLT
“You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless. “You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.

I hope today that we will all receive a Word that can be used in our walk today. Not so that I can find any glory or honor in sharing with you, but so that Christ might shine through even my written words that fall so short of His mark of perfection. So I beg you, friend – please see past the letter of my words, see past the imperfections of this man, and hear and receive the intent of my heart, to share this Word of God.

I love you, friends. Have a blessed day.