Read Matthew 6:16-18

“And whenever you fast, do not look dismal, like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces so as to show others that they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward.  But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that your fasting may be seen not by others but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”


from Rev. Darrell Pierce, Clarksburg, WV:

            Jesus is not nearly as concerned about what we do as he is about why we do it.  The hypocritical religious leaders were interested in the praise of people, so they fasted in a way most likely to bring them that praise. They did not fast because of sorrow for sins nor to strengthen themselves against temptation.

            The modern Christian’s fast, therefore, is not about methods but about attitudes and motives.  Does he fast desserts more as a method of losing weight than for sorrow for sin or desire to become more one with Jesus?  Does she fast because all her friends are fasting?

            It is fine if someone finds out that a Christian is fasting as long as that is not an object of the fast.  If the reason for fasting is Godly, the method of fasting won’t matter much.

Most Perfect God, may our fasts be pleasing to you
and improve our intimacy with you.