"Your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly."
We live in an attention crazed society. Every one is looking for their 15 minutes of fame. Recently a flight attendant got angry at a passenger, cursed him out over the intercom, and then deployed the emergency slide to exit the plane. He has since been arrested and lost his job, but at the same time he has become somewhat of a celebrity. A report the other day said that he has now been offered a reality television program with the plot being helping people quit their job in extravagant ways. Obviously, if his intent was to get attention, it is working better than he planned.
Why do we seek and desire the attention of people so much? In one word, it is PRIDE. You can trace pride back to the fall of Satan (he wanted to ascend to God's throne), the fall of man (they were told that they would be like God), and even the tower of Babel (they were going to reach heaven without God's help). Man has constantly been full of himself and desires to get attention, even if it means taking it from God. In this fabulous sermon of Matthew 5-7, Jesus touches on the motivation for why we do good things. It would not be a surprise to any one to know that often people do even charitable deeds for the attention of others. The pharisees were famous for making a show of their charitable giving in the temple. Josephus the Jewish historian tells us that the alms boxes in the temple were shaped like trumpets. Therefore, when one dropped their coins in, it would make a loud noise as it reverberated off the rim. You can imagine the feeling of pride some felt as every one stopped when they heard the noise of such an offering.
Jesus told the audience that the attention they received from men, which was fleeting at best, was their reward. There is nothing that we do that should be for the attention of men. Of course there are times that you will be noticed. However, our main purpose is to glorify God in all that we do. Every bit of attention should be deflected back to God. What if we do something for God, do it well, and no one notices? That will never happen. There is a God in Heaven that notices when no one else does, and He is ready to reward even that which is done in secret. Let's keep our eyes on Jesus and make Him first in our lives.
May you bring glory to God today in "secret"!