All the Good Days in God: Praying Streets

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Praying Streets

Reading from "the New King James Version: the Word for Today New Testament," a few passages from Matthew address hypocrites. Hearing talk about of hypocrisy, I wish to dismiss a great untruth. Exposing religious thoughts in public does not equal guilt. While people find reward in earthly respect, wealth or goodwill by praying in public and expressing religious values this activity means no more than wanting to talk about religion. Jesus Christ is famous for "Sermon on the Mount." Even his speech about hypocrites was made in public and then we realize the deeper meaning about hypocrites is not a warning against exposing love for God or religions viewpoints in public.

With understanding a person goes forward to unravel truths behind Christ's sermon. I read these passages and then reflect on life to find my own truths.
Matthew 6:2 When you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they my have glory from men.
When giving to charity, we give for no other reason than helping another person. Charity is different than tithe. When we tithe to a church or entity that benefits us in the future.

Without a church, I have difficulty finding a place to send tithe. Though wanting to participate in the wisdom of the bible, seeing the greater power of those who tithe to build an infrastructure to provide service and protect the Word of God, I frequently critique mannerisms and methods for finding a prosperous life. This critique produces subversion and strife. I do not want to pay to be treated as secondary. I want more than the right to not be mistreated.

Charity is wanting people to have better lives. There is no personal gain, because even if a homeless person find your old shirt in the charity bin to fool potential employers into hiring them they find their own fate after prospering. I imagine them getting a better job not just the job "they" would appreciate so they may save money for a few months. Knowing their own life they might leave town, yet better job references or experience make it possible to free themselves and gain a better life. Only they know how bad it has gotten and what they need in order to be free of secondary offerings. Even in a better life they would not even know me so they could repay me. There is no benefit to myself. There is no point in giving to charity to get something back. If there is a method to gain repayment it is not charity.
Matthew 6:5  When you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For the love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward.
This statement builds on the previous comments about charity. Prayer is not for worldly or selfish gain. We know within ourselves the life we live and if it embarrasses ourselves. There is a magical type of thinking that assists in helping people live the life that makes them proud, yet there is no basis to why it functions in real life.

There is a common theory of "happy marriage" in association to virginity. People want to get married and stay married. They want to be free from intimacy with people that leave them one day or make them awkward about themselves. They want to be free from torments of past experiences and complications affecting the ability to spend years in a happy marriage with divorce; ergo, many churches teach premarital sex and living as a couple before marriage is wrong.

Though this is the most common successful method to achieve these goals I know many couples that had premarital sex or lived together. They have celebrated thirty, forty and even fifty years of marriage. According to society, gossip, they should lose everything and become bitter after several failed relationships. Life reveals people who believe in thoroughly knowing a person before making a lifetime commitment. There is time to know and understand each other and not every relationship went perfectly. Intimacy with friends does not scare them. Some often say a person is more likely to act like themselves after having had intercourse. It is an exploratory method to really fall in love. This is similar to the activity of those who maintain virginity while evaluating if they really love the person they marry. Despite social criticism, people having premarital sex also find rewarding marriages.

As for issues involving money and quality of life this does not relate to the body. It relates to getting a degree at school, gaining tenor at work and exercising the mind. In fact, I feel odd around people who think their body, by itself, provides so much in life. Rewards that are beyond its function.

Assumptions beyond any clear notability are common. Being reassured honesty and earnest behavior has rewards by God everyone suffers a level of magical thinking. It helps people stay virtuous, yet overly assuming potential for sin creates a cycle of unusual punishment towards victims.

Imagine an Earnest Man who lives privately as well as he lives publicly. They went to school, got married and made a lot of money. They are wealthy through the protection of church and reputation. They rarely worry about many things. A Conman sees this lack of want and living graciously as a weakness. Envy makes the Conman believe the Earnest Man was evil and acquired wealth dishonestly. Noticing gullibility, the Conman successfully steals millions of dollars from Earnest Man. In doing so not only does the Earnest Man lose his money people begin to question his integrity. Attempting to figure out why God punished him society accuses him of dishonesty and incredible crimes that were performed in secrecy.

Earnest Man is able to support himself throughout retirement and provide an inheritance, yet he is tested. Victimized by a Conman he is victimized again. Conman not only stole his money. Conman also stole goodwill amongst lifelong friends and his reputation. Fortunately, as a truly earnest person, Earnest Man works through his problems and knows himself as a good person. He will be less gullible, yet he finds goodwill with God and continues to live well though questioning why a Conman is given so much control over other people's lives. Conman is a thief.

How does this affect us? The world gossips and judges, "for where your treasure is, your heart will be also." Prayers to become financially solvent are more commonly requested by other people, not the person in need of money or a job. God listens to concerns without judgment or social opinion. It is fine to think about deeper emotions of worry, concern or weakness when praying alone to God. There is no reason to look confident or attack another person because thoughts are not hidden similarly to Adam in the garden. It is better to be pure of thought because God already knows everything.

Whether collecting treasures in heaven or on earth there is a deeper level of knowing one's self that might be hidden from closest friends and family members. "You cannot serve God and mammon." Be honest, at least to yourself, when praying. Do not try to hide thoughts from God even when entertaining the crowd. Social games are worrisome and God will be understanding. Society is also understanding, yet a person decides which one they truly serve through actions. Gaining money and financial security is not always the best answer. Christ is obviously not a hypocrite. There is no reason to wonder what people are hiding when they pray in the streets. Either a person is or is not guilty. God is known to fulfill promises, while society tends to falter, so be careful who you prefer to serve.

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