Why do you do good deeds?
There are many answers to that question: “Because it helps my neighbor.” “Because God commands us to.” “Because it’s an expression of gratitude to Christ.” “Because it’s personally rewarding.” “Because it causes people to like me.” But in this devotional from My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers points out that acting righteously and living a morally pure life have an even more serious purpose: to point people to Jesus Christ.
Goodness and purity should never be traits that draw attention to themselves, but should simply be magnets that draw people to Jesus Christ. If my holiness is not drawing others to Him, it is not the right kind of holiness; it is only an influence which awakens undue emotions and evil desires in people and diverts them from heading in the right direction. A person who is a beautiful saint can be a hindrance in leading people to the Lord by presenting only what Christ has done for him, instead of presenting Jesus Christ Himself. Others will be left with this thoughtâ€” “What a fine person that man is!” That is not being a true “friend of the bridegroom”â€” I am increasing all the time; He is not.
Chambers’ point is that good deed and moral purity are not about us, the people doing them. They must be about Jesus—motivated by Jesus’ example, and carried out as an act of service to Him. If our good deeds point to anyone or anything other than Christ, we’ve missed the point of righteous behavior.