I recently hosted a used book sale to raise funds for Haiti. Though I don’t have any young children in my home and I have retired from selling children’s books, I still am always drawn to the picture books. I love the illustrations and the often rhyming text. This book sale was no different. I found myself picking up the hardback, colorful books and enjoying the simple stories.
Secretly Do Good Deeds by Melody Carlson was such a fun book with a great message. Someone did a good deed for this little protagonist without getting caught and it prompted her into doing good deeds in private for others. The author’s story idea isn’t original, it comes straight from Matthew 6:1-4 in the Bible.
“Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.2 “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 3 But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. –Mat 6:1-4 NIV
The author ends her story with “And now I will share my fun secret with you. It’s something Lord Jesus said that we should do. “Do your good deeds when no one can see, And God will reward you eternally.” That ends the story, that ends the book, but I hope it doesn’t end the message. Since reading that book, I’ve been thinking about how I could do good deeds in secret and I must admit, I’ve come up short. (So if you’ve recently been the recipient of someone doing something nice for you in secret, it wasn’t me!) This week, however, I may try even harder and I challenge you to do the same! Let’s see if we can make someone’s day a little brighter and honor God and His word at the same time.
Shhhhh! Don’t tell anyone!
The World Is Not a Stage
6 “Be especially careful when you are trying to be good so that you don’t make a performance out of it. It might be good theater, but the God who made you won’t be applauding.
2-4 “When you do something for someone else, don’t call attention to yourself. You’ve seen them in action, I’m sure—play actors’ I call them—treating prayer meeting and street corner alike as a stage, acting compassionate as long as someone is watching, playing to the crowds. They get applause, true, but that’s all they get. When you help someone out, don’t think about how it looks. Just do it—quietly and unobtrusively. That is the way your God, who conceived you in love, working behind the scenes, helps you out. –Matthew 6:1-4 MSG