Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Secrecy of Good Works

Good Works, if they are rightly to be called Good Works, are not to be done to the blast of loud trumpets (or perhaps with the modern day equivalent of tooting your own horn). They are not often done in public where all can see - but quietly, where only the person being helped knows what is happening (and sometimes, not even then).

Consider our Lord noting that our Father, who sees what is done in secret, is pleased with these things -- if you draw attention to it now, you have received your reward for it now... you've turned a good work into a glory work, praising you now. Most good works are "secret" - as in you don't tell a bunch of people about them. Good works cover another's shame... how would you trumpet your works without revealing that shame? Good works bind up a neighbor's wound... how would you trumpet your works without opening up that wound? Love your neighbor, quietly and simply, and then forget about what you have done, put it out of your mind, and live in whatever works God sets before you to walk into. Works disappear into the past -- yesterday's works were good and fine for then, but let me live in the now and let the past be... the past.

Some people are very confused as to why Christ healed and was quiet, didn't want people to go talk about it. I'm not. Christ does good works -- and often good works aren't paid attention to by anyone else. This is why John can tell us that Jesus is many other things than what was written in His Gospel... but we don't need to know them. Let them be good works to those who received them.

Go live your life. Care for your neighbor. Love them. God will use you. As you grow, both in terms of experience and learning to think of things in terms of love, your good works were be... sharper, more to the point. And just let them be.

1 comment:

Sage said...

I was thinking along those lines this week. When you expect a trumpeting when you do your good deeds and don't get it, you have a tendency to become bitter that no one noticed. That feeds into not doing any more if no one appreciates it.

Do it and drop it. Pretty good motto. Also, remember that commercial a while back where one person picks up something someone drops and then that person does a nice thing to another and on and on till the whole place is smiling? Like that. Our world would be so much nicer. A lady held the door for me today, just smiled and said "don't hurry". I almost never have that happen any more. I think niceness breeds niceness.