“Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” (Matt. 6:4)

SECRECY HAS DEVELOPED a bad reputation these days. We expect our political leaders to be transparent with the public. We want full disclosure from our spouses and friends. We value authenticity in our spiritual leaders. If something is found to be a secret, it is assumed to be bad. Why else would it be hidden? We view secrets as the skeletons in our closets, the sins we keep sheltered in the shadows. We’re accustomed to seeing reporters dig to uncover and expose secrets.

Yet Jesus advocated a kind of secrecy—not hiding our bad habits from the public eye but hiding our best habits from view. Why? Because Jesus knew that good actions done in public draw attention and even praise. That attention can go to our heads very quickly. Before we know it, we start doing those things in order to get the applause of the crowd.

The good we do for others is meant to be a way of honoring God. If we give a large donation anonymously, the recipients won’t know whom to thank. They might just look to the sky and thank God, the ultimate source, for an unexpected blessing. And we have the added joy of knowing that our generosity has no earthly kickback. The reward for our giving will be paid only in heaven.

Do something helpful today, but keep it a secret.

Jarod Osborne is the lead pastor of Warsaw Wesleyan Church. He is also the author of Jaded Faith (WPH).

© 2017 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.