When someone says, “I’ve got a secret,” what they are really saying is, “I know something you don’t know and I’m dying to tell you, so try to get it out of me.” Stating that there is a secret is like letting half the cat out of the bag. The rest will come soon.
After reading the book “I Like Giving: The Transforming Power of a Generous Life” by Brad Formsma, PB and I have been challenged to be more creative and thoughtful in this area. Two things are happening that I didn’t expect. First, we are learning that there is nothing like generosity to bring a crazy amount of joy into life. Second, drawing attention to the act of giving takes all that joy away.
Jesus warned about this in Matthew 6, where He addressed the whole idea of giving — how to do it right and how to do it wrong. I read it over and over, then rewrote it in my own words. (Alert: I am not attempting to re-write scripture here — I just find it really helpful to think about each word and try to express the same thought.)
Here is Matthew 6:2-4 in DPR (Dinah’s Personal Rendition):
“So when you give to the needy, do not announce it on Facebook, as the self-promoters do. Do not write blog posts or books about it, so that everyone will say what a good person you are. If you want the truth, that little thumbs-up “like” is your big prize. That’s it.
But when you give to the needy, be more sneaky and stay behind the scenes. Don’t let your left hand know that your right hand is writing a check. Let it be a secret between Me and you.
My Father pays close attention to that undercover-style giving and He has a special surprise planned for those kind of givers.”
I think we might have it backwards. Instead of keeping God hush-hush and making much of ourselves, what if we used all this online media and social networking to make much of Him and keep ourselves out of the limelight?
“Let us labor in our service for the Lord to be more and more hidden; as much as the proud desire to catch the eye of man, let us endeavor to avoid it.” Charles H. Spurgeon
So true, true, true! And I agree that generally speaking, we almost always get it backwards, whatever “it” is that God is trying to teach us. Listening to God requires that we adjust our antennae and reprogram our responses.