Posted by: pmarkrobb | September 29, 2013

the world is not a stage

I am a bit of a TV junkie.  It’s not a source of pride, but it’s the truth.  And right about now is the “best time” for people such as myself.  There are new shows to get completely invested in, only to watch them not make it to mid-season renewal, and there are favorites that pick up where last season’s cliffhanger finale left off.

With TV and actors on my mind, I ran across a few verses today that speak truth no matter what season of life we find ourselves in.  The following verses are from the sermon on the mount.  The words of Jesus in The Message translation from Matthew chapter 6, verses 1-5…

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.

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. 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.

And when you come before God, don’t turn that into a theatrical production either. All these people making a regular show out of their prayers, hoping for stardom! Do you think God sits in a box seat?

I’ve been taught the biblical principles found in this passage from a very young age, and I say “Amen” to everything Jesus is teaching.  And while I believe it’s true of me that I don’t major in drama, I have certainly been guilty before of being a ‘playactor.’  In following Jesus, I desire to live and serve humbly, speak softly, love fully, and reject the temptation to “take the stage.”  I desire to know God, reach people, and hear the words “well done, good and faithful servant,” not have man hand me a shiny trophy for best performance in a leading role.

Jesus’ words are true for all of us, whether we battle regularly with those temptations or not.  The world is not a stage for us to stand upon.  It’s a field in which we are given the opportunity daily to labor and participate in the work He is doing.  Are you a laborer, or do you just play one on TV?


  1. Thanks for the thought and closing question! A “field vs. a stage” provides my mind a great picture. Thanks for passing along the truth He has shared. 🙂


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