by John Fischer
“When you give a gift to someone in need, don’t shout about it as the hypocrites do – blowing trumpets in the synagogues and streets to call attention to their acts of charity! I assure you, they have received all the reward they will ever get. But when you give to someone, don’t tell your left hand what your right hand is doing. Give your gifts in secret, and your Father, who knows all secrets, will reward you.” (Matthew 6:2-4 NLT)
As purpose driven people, we should always be looking for opportunities to serve. Most of these opportunities come as we spontaneously respond to the needs of those around us. It can mean serving on a board or a committee, or signing up to serve in a soup kitchen or a homeless shelter – there are many of these opportunities especially this time of year – but an important part of being a servant is responding to the immediate needs of those around us. This is the type of service for which we rarely receive credit, which makes it even more authentic.
Servants don’t expect thanks for what they do. I’m sure it’s nice to hear it once in a while, but servants, when they serve, are just doing their job. If you find you need to be recognized for your service, you might want to take a second look at your motivation. True servants go about their work quietly and with little acknowledgment because they know their heavenly Father sees everything and their reward will come at the right time if they remain faithful.
A servant’s satisfaction comes from watching what his or her service enabled. Maybe it’s a homeless person’s appreciation for a Thanksgiving meal, or the smile on the new neighbor’s face when he or she is welcomed with a gift, or maybe it’s simply a brightening awareness on someone’s face that you are actually paying attention to his problem, taking his point of view seriously, and offering to help with a solution.
The truest kind of service is that which is anonymous. Jesus once said that when you give, don’t let your right hand know what your left hand is doing. In other words, keep your giving as a secret even to yourself. Don’t use your service for self-gratification. Serve and don’t think twice about it. Move on to the next thing. God sees everything.