Saturday, May 15, 2010


SECRECY-By Richard Foster in 'A Year With God.' This is part of our new study at The Passionate Particpation in God Project at Sign Up Today

SECRECY: Consciously refraining from having our good deeds and qualities generally known, which in turn rightly disciplines our longing for recognition.

We often long to talk about the good deeds that we do, wanting others to think well of us. The danger of this inclination is that approval will become our motivation. When we fast or pray or give in secret, as Jesus advises us in Matthew 6, we can know we are doing so for the right reasons, looking to God for approval rather than to our fellow humans. God knows all that we are and all that we do; His heavenly reward for any good that we do will far outweigh any earthly approbation (Matt 6:1). Deliberately avoiding earthly recognition, fame, and attention helps to cultivate within us humility and true love for others. It also gives us the opportunity to meditate on the nature of our God, who the Bible tells us is also “hidden” (Isa 45:15) and “in secret” (Matt 6).

That is not to say that our good qualities will never be recognized by others, just that we leave it to God to point them out, We see Jesus avoiding crowds and performing miracles in private, but the crowds invariably find Him and spread the word about Him. Jesus told us that a city set on a hill cannot be hid, and that we are to be the light of the world, not hidden under a bushel (Matt 5:14-16). Practicing the discipline of secrecy simply relinquishes to God the power to reveal our light. This submission is only appropriate, because everything in us that is good comes from God.

Whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you. —Matthew 6:6

Day 126 Spiritual Practice: Keeping Our Works Private
Day 127 Not Seen by Others
Day 128 The Appearance of Righteousness
Day 129 In My Secret Heart
Day 130 He Could Not Escape Notice
Day 131 The Light of the World
Day 132 God Will Judge Our Secret Thoughts
Day 133 Riches Hidden in Secret Places
Day 134 Hidden with God
Day 135 The Shelter of the Most High
Day 136 Spiritual Practice: Praying for Others’ Success
Day 137 The One Who is More Powerful Than I
Day 138 Jesus Humbled Himself
Day 139 God’s Splendor
Day 140 Let No One Boast
Day 141 Let Those Who Boast Boast in This
Day 142 Boasting in Christ Jesus
Day 143 We Boast in Our Hope of Sharing the Glory of God
Day 144 God Notices Us
Day 145 A God Who Hides

No comments: