Most of us know the warning signs for a heart attack: pressure in the center of the chest, pain in the neck, jaw and arms, shortness of breath and lightheadedness. These warning signs get your attention and, if you show up at the emergency room with any of them, you’ll be seen by a doctor immediately. I wonder, how many of us know the warning signs of self-righteousness and people pleasing?
This week, Jesus is going to warn us about the consequences of righteous deeds conducted for the sake of being noticed by others. There are eternal consequences to this kind of people pleasing, according to Jesus. The practice of righteousness and spiritual disciplines is encouraged by Jesus, provided one’s motives are right. As we’ll see Sunday, Christ-centeredness is the motivation for genuine righteousness. Anything less than that falls short of pleasing our Father in heaven.