“Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven.”
When you do a good deed…
Would you rather receive a reward from people?
Or, would you rather receive a reward from God?
I hope that your answer will be, “From God, of course!” But if this is truly your answer, you also need to know that a reward from God requires that your deed was done in secret. Or, at the very least, a reward from God requires that you do not intentionally show off your good deeds for the sole reason to receive rewards from people.
Jesus Christ tells that we do not need to sound trumpets ahead of us when we go do a charitable deed. We need to do our good deeds in secret so that we do not lose our secret rewards from God. If we receive our praise from men, what benefit does this have on our souls? Nothing…People may applaud you and praise you from now until next year, but you could still feel empty, joyless, and disappointed. When you receive your secret reward from God, it is a still breath of life that injects itself into your heart in a way indescribable.
When you give in secret, never regret helping someone if you come out feeling like you gained nothing from the situation. Never regret helping someone if you come out having lost something either! When you give, you never gain nothing (i.e. you always gain something). The point of giving is that you take something that is yours and give it to someone else so that it becomes theirs. At the same time, when you give in secret you gain a reward from God. But, give according to how to what you can give so that you do not easily become resentful. Give in secret, but have a good understanding of your boundaries and limits.
So, why? Why should you be ok to give in secret and receive no praise and no rewards from people?
Because God will reward you for what you do. God’s rewards may not be what you expect, but He will always reward you and never forget the good that you do. When you do your tasks at your job faithfully because you want to please God rather than people, He will reward you. When you “go the extra mile” to help someone in secret, He will reward you. When you let go and give someone the gift of forgiveness in secret, He will reward you. When you do the smallest task you are given with care and attention and without grumbling, He will reward you.
“He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in what is much.”