Hamad Bin Hamdan Al Nahyan is a wealthy man. He has over 200 cars, a motor home that looks like the earth, his own island, and is part of the Royal Family (as well as a Sheikh) of Abu Dhabi. Now Mr. Hamad is one that doesn’t only spend his money on himself, no, he is one that gives a great deal of money to charities to support Philanthropy. As with many human beings, Mr. Hamad has felt the need to tell the world of his greatness. Maybe it is the greatness of his wealth; maybe it is the greatness of his charitable deeds. In order to accomplish such a feat, Mr. Hamad decided he would broadcast himself all over the world, by showing off his name to the rest of the world. You see, the name shown above is his name that you can see from space! On his own private Island, Mr. Hamad had his name carved out of the ground at the size of 2 miles long! As you can see from the photo, three of the letters have started filling up with water and are now waterways.
Now before you snicker and say, “what a waste of effort and money”, ask yourself the question, “when was the last time I was a Hamad?” Now surely you have never carved your name in the ground so that people can read your name from space. Yet have you done a good deed for the sole purpose of getting recognized?
Jesus taught at the Sermon on the Mount that we should avoid this kind of behavior. In Matthew 6, He gives three scenarios of good deeds that can be done in the wrong manner. The three scenarios are as follows: Giving, Praying, Fasting; three great areas that we as Christians should partake in. The problem arises when we do these (or any other good deed) to be noticed by others. The examples that are given would be sounding a trumpet, standing where others can see you, putting on a gloomy face when the good that you do hurts.
As a preacher, I find that I have to constantly watch myself for this. I have been blessed to spend my life and career studying and presenting the Word of truth, as well as serve others. Yet as I present a lesson, or as I spend time with someone in need, the temptation can be there to “show off” a bit. You know what I mean, let the world know what I have been doing with my day and what I know about the Scriptures. When I do this, I am no better than Hamad.
I encourage you to not be a Hamad! Yes, continue to do good deeds. Yet remember another portion of Jesus’ Sermon. After every example of wrong that He gives, He tells how you can receive a righteous reward for the good that you do. He says “Your Father who sees what is down in secret will reward you” (Matthew 6:4, 6, 18). Do your good deeds for the benefit of others (including God) in secret, and He will bless you far more than you could ever bless yourself.