“Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.” – Matthew 6:1
Those who live in the eastern part of Turkey make an art of practicing their righteousness before other people to be seen by them. It is wrapped up in the warp and woof of their culture. The way you greet someone in the market, the way you welcome them into you home, and especially the outward religious duties you peform – all of it centers around their attempt at showing you their righteousness.
Now, their righteousness-showing does serve the purpose of exhibiting hospitality, but at its root, the hospitality shown is usually for the purpose of causing anyone who might see to think of this person as good.
This behavior, though, is not so much different from what we all as humans seek to do if we are not freed from the law of sin and death. We need a right understanding of righteousness. Paul tells us in Galatians 2:16, “…yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified.”
Pray for Kurdish men and women who continue to try to find their goodness in their own works. Pray that they would clearly see that their righteousness is as dirty rags before their holy Creator, and that instead of trying to show off their attempts at goodness, they would turn to Christ and believe, finding in Him the only goodness that could be attained. He is both the righteousness AND the reward for those who trust in Him!