A dear friend once told me that she likes serving God behind the scenes, doing jobs that will most likely not receive the praise of men. In that way, she knows that her motivation to serve will be pure. She has done many such jobs in her life: cleaning the church, working in the nursery, teaching toddlers in Sunday school, storing seasonal decorations, sewing children’s costumes, sending cards of encouragement, and more. She is almost embarrassed to be acknowledged, just thankful to serve as needed, wherever needed.
As I’ve grown older and more seasoned in my Christian walk, I’ve started to observe and appreciate other people like her. There’s the woman who sits in front of me every week in church and finds the hymns and Scriptures for her friend, who cannot read very well. There’s the man who is always friendly, with a good word and a handshake to anyone he greets before the service. There’s the woman who decorates the pulpit area with seasonal flower arrangements and the entry with potted plants. Another man picks up children from nearby towns and drives them to church and home again, every single week.
These people are living the command Jesus gave in Matthew 6 to give inconspicuously—even secretly. He told the story of hypocrites, who, as they were giving alms to the poor in the streets or entering a synagogue, had men blow trumpets to announce their presence and their good deeds.
“Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.”—Matthew 6:2b
And that reward was the praise of mere men.
But, continued Jesus, for an eternal reward, giving should be done covertly.
“Let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth….and thy Father, which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.”—Matthew 6:3-4
Much covert giving, whether of time, talent, or treasure, is not that exciting. Scrubbing church toilets alone on a Saturday afternoon, wiping toddlers’ noses during a Sunday morning class, or washing dishes after a potluck on a Sunday night doesn’t seem as important as taking a missions trip or directing the church Christmas program.
But it might seem a bit more thrilling when we look at those jobs as the Father does. We could consider ourselves as sort of secret agents of service for him, quietly and intentionally taking on tasks out of the limelight.
Has someone inspired you in this area of secret service? I’d love to hear from you.