“Many human activities, good in themselves, are not good because of the motive for which they are done. For example, fasting and vigils, prayer and psalmody, acts of charity and hospitality are by nature good, but when performed for the sake of self-esteem they are not good.” – Maximos the Confessor, “Four Hundred Texts on Love, Second Century”, Vol. 2, pg. 71
Too many times I have spoken of good things I had done and not to feel the soothing shower of people’s blessings. Far more often, I have sought their praise as billboards to attract everyone else’s attention! As I have let peoples’ noticing my good works become the bath God’s Spirit washes me in, I don’t want them watching my filth swirl down the drain.