16 “When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 17 But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, 18 so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
A humble heart produces authentic love. In Jesus’ day fasting had become a performance for many people, empty of all spiritual value. Jesus was not impressed with their hollow performance. Today, pride is common struggle among all followers of Jesus. We need to make it a regular habit to examine our own heart. Is there an integrity to what I do and in how I love others?
Confess to the Lord areas of your heart that are prideful.
Spend time in reflection and prayer. Spend some time listening to God and ask him to show you areas of pride in your heart and life. Then talk to God about these things. Admit and confess the ways that pride has taken hold in your heart.
Here are some questions to ask yourself:
- Is there something or someone that is distracting you from spending time with God?
- Is there sin in your life that is keeping you separated from God and his best for you?
- Is there something God is asking you to do, but you’re not listening to Him?
If you haven’t already, decide and start on a fast.
Here are some ideas:
Fast from food: one meal a day for each of the next 3 weeks
Fast from food: one meal a day for the whole 30 days
Fast from social media/TV/video games one day each week
Fast from social media/TV/video games for the whole 30 days