In His teaching about sharing, Jesus instructed His followers that when they gave to those in need, they were not to “let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret” (Matt. 6:3–4, NIV).
These words suggest that Jesus wants us to learn how to give to others without making a big deal about it. Some have called this practice “the discipline of secrecy”. Without being deceptive, we deliberately abstain from letting our good deeds be known to others.
The question is: Why would this be so important in our walk with God? Dallas Willard, one of my mentors in the faith, was adamant that this practice stabilizes us in our walk with God.
We do generous deeds for others in secret simply because we want to love God and those around us. We are taming our desires to look good, be noticed and be admired. We don’t need to be known. We simply want to become the kind of Christ followers from whose hearts good deeds naturally flow. Don’t you want to become this kind of person?
In your quiet time today, think of one act of secret service you can plan to do in the next twelve hours. It may be to listen to a colleague, help your kids with their homework, take out the trash, bake a special dish for a neighbor or give an anonymous gift to someone you know is struggling. The possibilities are endless.
The key, however, is to serve without talking about it with anyone. It is likely that someone may see what you are doing and mention it. When this happens, you can simply respond, “It was just something I wanted to do.”