Instead, let me quote the Scripture passage that the Holy Spirit used yesterday to confront my sin.
“Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.
2 “Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 3 But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
5 “And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 6 But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. ~~Matthew 6:1-6 (ESV)
Isn't it so easy to turn our works for the Lord into occasions for others to praise us? We quite obviously forget that, by seeking the temporal reward of human praise, we forfeit eternal rewards. In so doing, we pretty much betray our lack of interest in eternal treasures as well as our desire for self-promotion. Honoring our Father takes a back seat to winning acclaim from people here and now. We use our Christianity to point to ourselves instead of dying to ourselves to direct people to Christ.
I've settled for rewards that will burn away to ashes when I stand before the Lord (1 Corinthians 3:12-15). As much as I relish the accolades of others, I now wish I could trade them in to hear my Father say, on that day when He examines my Christian works, "Well done, good and faithful servant."