Do good in secret. Don’t let anyone know what you are doing. Keep it to yourself. Not even the recipient needs to know what you are doing. Just go about doing good. The point is not the recognition, it is the love that is shared – secretly. Just do good.
These are the lessons I receive as I read Jesus’ teachings in Matthew 6. These sound so easy. Just do good. But for some many, these are really challenging words. It isn’t the fact of doing good. Most of us want to help others. We want to do what we can to lift someone else up. The issue isn’t the giving so much as it is the secret part. We are not accustomed to this. We are taught to put tags on gifts with the ‘from’ and ‘to’ sections filled out. We are brought up to put our names on things that we donate. It is important for us to have recognition for the good things that we do. It helps us to feel better about what we have done. If nobody knows what we have done, why do we do it? Some even give so that they can receive recognition. So the thought of doing this in secret is mind blowing.
Yet, Jesus calls us to live differently. He calls us to do things without any fanfare. He asks us to give because we have been given so much. He asks us to love our neighbor because it is an outpouring of love from God. We are called to release the treasures of this earth for treasures that mean so much more. Jesus calls us to give and the reward will be from him. Nothing else needed. No one has to know. You give from the heart as he taught and only he has to know.
Things might look a little different if we begin to live this out. We might even find that there is so much more joy in giving secretly than we would have ever realized. It just might be that giving secretly brings us closer to Jesus. And, who knows, it might loosen our grip on this world’s treasures.
Today, find a way to give in secret. It doesn’t have to be big or extravagant. It only has to be from your heart. Give in such a way that only God knows it was you that gave. It just might change the life of someone else (and you).
6 “Beware of practicing your piety before others in order to be seen by them; for then you have no reward from your Father in heaven.
2 “So whenever you give alms, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be praised by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. 3 But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your alms may be done in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
Photos included in Devotions are captured by David Cain – The Cain Gallery. Photos are available for sale by contacting The Cain Gallery