Anyone who knows me knows that I’ve got a head. I think it’s to do with the lack of hair. My head is very visible because of that. There is no hair to hide it.

The thing is, though, that it’s not what’s on the head that matters. It’s not even what’s inside it that matters either. It’s all about what’s going on inside it. That’s what’s important.

What’s going on inside it isn’t always apparent either. Most people haven’t a clue what’s going on inside mine. Sometimes I haven’t a clue what’s going on inside it either! Sometimes what is going on in it comes out in the form of words or actions. Sometimes it doesn’t – and sometimes that’s just as well, either for their good or for mine!

Inside our heads is where it all happens. Jesus tells us that if we are angry with someone, we are subject to judgement, and this is just after he mentions the commandment about not murdering. He tells us that if we even lust after someone it’s just as bad as committing adultery.

It’s the thought that counts, but it’s not just the bad thoughts – it’s the good ones too, or the lack of them!

Watch out! Don’t do your good deeds publicly, to be admired by others, for you will lose the reward from your Father in heaven.  When you give to someone in need, don’t do as the hypocrites do—blowing trumpets in the synagogues and streets to call attention to their acts of charity! I tell you the truth, they have received all the reward they will ever get.  But when you give to someone in need, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing.  Give your gifts in private, and your Father, who sees everything, will reward you. (Matthew 6:1-4)

We should think about good things and about doing good things, but we should also think about the reason for doing them. If we are just doing it so that other people admire us or think we are wonderful then we are doing it for the wrong reason. We might still be doing the other person some good, but it’s doing us no good whatsoever – it’s just our pride which is being satisfied, and it never will be satisfied, because pride just wants more.

Many of the famous people who have pledged fortunes to the rebuilding of Notre Dame Cathedral might be doing it for the wrong reason – so that they are praised or so that they get a brass plaque. If that is what is going on in their heads then they are either mad or sad or both. Jesus tells us to give our gifts in secret. If a brass plaque is what you want, then a brass plaque is all you’ll get.

If you give secretly, just to help others and not expecting anything in return, then you will be rewarded in a much bigger, better way. Your reward won’t be made of brass. It will be made of something that money can’t buy. It won’t be made or laid by man, neither will it fade.

It’s the thought that counts.