Matthew 6: 16-18-
“And when you fast, don’t make it obvious, as the hypocrites do, for they try to look miserable and disheveled so people will admire them for their fasting. I tell you the truth, that is the only reward they will ever get. But when you fast, comb your hair and wash your face. Then no one will notice that you are fasting, except your Father, who knows what you do in private. And your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.”
I’ll admit it. When it comes to pain or discomfort, I’m out. How about you?
When it comes to fasting though, discomfort is the name of the game. You’re saying no to desires that aren’t use to it. They usually don’t take it too well. However, Jesus tells us plainly if we walk around wearing our misery like a crown we won’t receive the benefit we could have.
He tells us the most productive way to fast is to act natural. Around Real Life Church, we talk about fasting so we can support one another but we’re careful never to use it as a spiritually mature measuring stick. At one point the Bible mentions the Pharisees fasted twice a week yet they weren’t getting a lot of things right.
So while it’s important to have accountability and encouragement when you are fasting be careful not to take it too far. Don’t wear your fasting as a crown. Keep the struggle as quiet as possible. That way God will, who sees in secret will be able to reward you.
- Make a determined effort to hide your struggles
- Remember this is all as an act of worship and an effort to move closer to God. Therefore don’t allow yourself to fall into a rut.