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  • Writer's pictureLindsey DeChaine

What is Done in Secret

During the sermon on the Mount, Jesus spoke out, "But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you" (Matthew 6:3-4).

Such wise words that took me time to understand. There was a time when I wanted to be seen to receive confirmation that I was a "good Christian" from the world's perspective, whether that's being noticed for my time or generosity.

Many can view serving others through a lens of religious expectation, and I was one of them. I judged my husband because I would serve the homeless, and he didn't go every time I went. I needed to justify why he was not serving, but he was helping differently. Instead, he spent hours doing media and sermon prep behind the scenes for the church, even after working 50 hours that week.

Serving others is not always seen or talked about; whether paid or voluntary, I had to acknowledge the time and talent someone gives can look different depending on their capacity and where someone feels led by the Spirit.

Growing in my relationship with Jesus has altered my view on needing to be noticed and judging others. I fell into the trap, and it took time for God to correct my viewpoint. If someone thinks I am not serving based on their perception of what I should and shouldn't do, I have learned that I do not answer to them but to God.

I am using the gifts he blessed me with to help others do what God said all his followers should do in Matthew 28:18: "Go out and make disciples."

What are some examples?

Be the church and show the unconditional love of Jesus as he continues to do for us. Share the gospel with others and follow the words of Jesus.

 “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 22:37-40).

So first is to have a relationship with Jesus and get to know his character and what he did to and for others.

Secondly is showing love by actions. Some examples may include but are not limited to surrendering time by taking dinner to a hurting friend, leading a small group, helping an employee at work, or helping someone financially in hardship. These all give opportunities to serve without an audience.

I realized serving is not what others expect of me. If I say I will do something, I must follow through with integrity! However, I will not feel pressured to conform to how others think someone should. I had to ask myself, am I serving from a place of obligation or love? Sometimes, I will be seen serving, but I had to ask myself, what is the motive? I asked God to search my heart (Psalm 139:23-24).

In doing so, he revealed 1st Peter, chapter 4 to me. We all have gifts but be wary of using gifts to get gratification from people or comparing what you don't have to others. I tried to serve in a capacity I was not called to accomplish, and I got burnt out quickly. I am learning to be faithful in what he has blessed me with.

“If it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.”

Romans 12:7-8 NIV

I began by having a relationship with Jesus, and then I asked the Holy Spirit to guide me through the next steps of where to use the talents and gifts he has given me to reach others. In growing in my relationship with him, he has helped break my heart for what breaks his. He has helped me learn the importance of doing without always being seen, and most importantly, he has revealed his unconditional love for me. My heart is to share with others so they may experience salvation, hope, and redemption as I have.

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