I really enjoy watching dog shows on the television. The dog owners are impeccably dressed and trot along with their pedigreed dogs as they show off their unique canine beauty. The dogs have been carefully trained to stand confidently with chins brushed and styled. If you look carefully, they all appear to look like winners.

However, at times I wonder when their audience is not there, what are these animals really like? Do they every relax and let their sleek fur get so matted they're mistaken for mutts? Does their dog breath begin smelling foul?

More important, what are we really, really like when nobody's watching? In (Matthew-23-2). Jesus rebuked those who were interested in how they looked in public rather than how they were seen by God. God desires that we be obedient, faithful, and committed to Him - even when nobody else sees. The Pharisees focused on the way they were perceived by others. God's focus is on what we are like inside. His desire is for us to look like His Son.

We are not in competition with other Christians. God will never ask us to compete for recognition. He measures us by the perfect standard of His Son (Ephesians. 4:13). And in love, He provides the righteousness, we need so that we can be blameless before Him (Colossians 1:21). Living for God's approval is better than living for man"s applause.


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