Jesus declared that religious leaders in his day, actually those who overall had the highest reputation, did everything to be seen by others. Their religion and their life was wrapped around what others thoughts of them. They wanted to be honored and held in high esteem. They were concerned about praise from people, not praise from God- that had no regard for them.
Reading that, it set me to wondering just how much we want others to think highly of what we do and say. Of course we want to be good examples to others. But this needs to stop short of others thinking just how great we are. Rather we should hope that others might see Jesus in us. And there is a beauty to that, but that beauty is not intrinsic to ourselves at all.
I like to think and talk about theological issues. I find that at times I can talk too much and we can lose out on the simple beauty of seeking to live it out in the ordinary every day aspects of life. And if I'm not careful, I too can fall into the trap of wanting others to think a certain way about me.
But Jesus told his disciples and he tells us, Don't call anyone your special or honorary teacher, don't think you're a head above anyone; you are all one family, brothers and sisters. We're to simply live in that grace and love we find in Jesus. To be humble and seek to learn from others. To be ready to confess our sins to another brother or sister.
What would you like to add to these thoughts about keeping up appearances?