In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. – Matthew 5:16 (ESV)
We tend to get it wrong when it comes to good deeds. We assume that our upright actions garner favor and blessing from God. We barter with God, “I’m doing this for you so I expect something in return.” We may not explicitly say that but it’s there under the surface. Then we take our good deeds and use them as an opportunity to get glory from others. We post our acts for the world to see in the hopes of getting a few digital pats on the back. Again, we may not consciously think about that but it’s there. But our approach is backwards.
Our good deeds are for the glory of God and the benefit of others. They are a tangible way in which we love our neighbor. Even when no one is watching or knows what we have done, they are how we shine light. And when we approach our good deeds from this perspective, all the glory goes straight to the only one who deserves it.