Certainly I don't Want to become a Play-Actor! Majestic Mountain View Series, Part 23

A bridge in Bruges

"Be especially careful when you are trying to be good so that you don't make a performance out of it. It might be good theater, but the God who made you won't be applauding." (Matt 6:1, MSG)

It's easy to become an entertainer instead of a worshipper. The difference between these two is evident: The entertainer puts the emphasis on himself, while the worshipper puts the emphasis on our Heavenly Father. The entertainers rob our Father for their own profit. "Look at me!" Is truly a call of help, for they have no idea who our Father is.

"When you do something for someone else, don't call attention to yourself. You've seen them in action, I'm sure-'playactors' I call them- treating prayer meeting and street corner alike as a stage, acting compassionate as long as someone is watching, playing to the crowds. They get applause, true, but that's all they get." (Matt 6:2, MSG)

For some, Christianity is just playacting. These are the ones who love to show their prowess in how to pray long prayers. Everyone is oohing and awing: "Wow! This guy has it made!" Truly, it is only an act to show off. Their prayers are truly empty of content. How sad! Other are invigorated by demonstrating compassion in a big way; yet deep inside, they truly don't care. They are completely empty. It's all an act and their applause is short-lived. It is sometimes hard to discern between the real and the fake.

Instead of all this self-centeredness, "When you help someone out, don't think about how it looks. Just do it-quietly and unobtrusively. That is the way your God, who conceived you in love, working behind the scenes, helps you out." (Matt 6:3-4, MSG)

One who was dedicated to focusing on God was Jeanne Daman, a young teacher in Brussels during the Second World War. She was appalled when she found out that Jewish children were forbidden to attend school. She was a Christian, but although she had never had any contact with Jews before, her sense of right and wrong dictated that she try to make a difference for these children. She quickly joined an organization with the goal of helping Jewish children. If the Nazis ever found out about her activities, however, she knew her life would be at stake.

She became the head mistress in the street de la Roue where she became witness to the brutal arrests of many Jews in this neighborhood. Every day she would notice that some of her students were absent, and often these never returned for they had been sent to Auschwitz. Some of the children also became instant orphans when their parents were arrested while they were at school.

Eventually she had to close the school, as the lives of these children were at stake. Thanks to an organization named ONE, she was able to move these Jewish children into private Belgian families. Even after the school was closed, she continued to rescue Jewish children. Not only did she escort them to their new homes, but she also kept in communication with them. As arrests were increasing, she began seeking shelter for adults as well. She even found jobs for them, offering them false identities as well as ration cards.

When the war was finally over, she worked to try and return Jewish children to their own family whenever possible, and she even helped children who returned from the concentration camps. She had saved over 1200 Jews! Her focus was to love indiscriminately as Jesus does, never trying to be the focus of these rescues. After all, "Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me-you did it to me.'" (Matt 25:40b, MSG)

What is our purpose in life?

Rob Chaffart

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