In this post I would like to share with you few things which should be done in secret and must be highly confidential. Let only God and you be the witness to such events. Moreover, we will also see a comparison between real spirituality and false spirituality (also known as hypocrisy)
Here are the three things which we must do in secret
1. Let your giving be in secret
Do you help the poor and the needy? Do you offer a helping hand to various charitable deeds? Do you give money for a noble cause? If yes, you are doing a good job! God loves such activities and He loves a cheerful giver. Indeed true spirituality is all about practicing what we preach!
But the problem lies in your real intention. If you are doing things to be seen by people or to get the approval of others or to get the credit, then you may miss God’s reward for you.
Do you want a temporary reward from people when they speak well about you for your good deeds OR do you want to receive the reward and the recognition from God? Then you should make sure that your giving is in secret which means your attitude should be that only God should see what you are doing. This shows that you truly care about the suffering of others and your intention will be pure – that is to really help the needy, to please the One who is above and not to boast about it. The satisfaction you get out of this will be amazing.
Read the below portion where Jesus tells about this. This is self explanatory.
Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. [Matthew 6:1-4]
Note: A hypocrite is the one who acts as if he is very spiritual but not really a genuine spiritual person. Synagogue is a place of worship of the Jewish people. A Jew is a person of the faith of Judaism. Jesus was referring to the false spirituality followed by some Jews.
God watches over you. So don’t worry if nobody notices your good deeds. You will never loose your reward for all the good things you did.
Here is a beautiful story from the Bible (taken from Mark 12)
Once Jesus sat down opposite the treasury box in the temple and watched the people putting money into the offering box. Many rich people put in large sums of money. And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which make a penny. And he called his disciples to him and said to them, “Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the offering box. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.”
We have a great lesson to learn from this poor widow. She had nothing left but put all her savings into that box because of the love for God. She never knew that Jesus was watching from the other side. If she had known that definitely she would have felt ashamed to put such a small offering infront of Jesus and his disciples.
But she decided to give even those two coins which was the only money she had. Nobody noticed that. But Jesus saw the desire of her heart, her bank balance and how much she put. Then Jesus told His disciples how she had contributed the maximum. Not only that, even God chose to record this incident in the Bible and that’s how we came to know that. Also the whole world came to know about this incident, even you, as you are reading this.
Isn’t it amazing? God’s reward is truly honorable!
2. Let your prayer be in secret
Do you take time to pray everyday? If yes, God is much pleased with you because it shows how much you value the relationship with God and how much you trust Him. Do you know that your prayer has great reward waiting for you from above?
But when you pray, are you doing it in secret or to be seen by people? God wants us to make sure that our prayer is sincere and not to show others how spiritual we are! Therefore, let your private devotions be between God and you.
Infact the relationship of a believer with Jesus is similar to an engaged couple. Will you ever want to share with others what you both secretly converse? You want it to be top secret, right? Yes prayer is also a deep and intimate conversation with your Creator.
Now read this statement of Jesus
And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when 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: 5,6]
None of the disciples of Jesus (not even Jesus) exposed their secret prayer life to others. But God chose to reveal their secret prayer in the Bible for us to learn and that’s how we came to know their prayer life.
There are some cases where we do not get the chance of having a private place to pray. In that case try your best to make sure that you are concentrating completely on God when you pray even if you know that others are watching you. Maybe you can opt a time and place where no one will see you praying. This way you will have your complete attention and concentration in secret conversation with God.
3. Let your fasting be in secret
Fasting is a time which you set apart from your busy life to spend with God and to focus your complete attention to God alone even without caring about food. This is a deep personal moment and Jesus commands us that we shouldn’t be publicizing it.
And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. [Matthew 6: 16,17,18]
Some people purposefully skip breakfast or lunch to show others that they are fasting. But true fasting should be in secret. Sometimes the people who are close to us may find out that we are fasting when they don’t see us having food. So plan well in advance a date and time where there is less chance of people knowing about our fast.
Also note that…
Sometimes you need to share your spiritual experiences with others for their benefit and to help them. In such cases, be careful while you share.
The idea here is not to let spiritual pride attack you and to keep your relationship with God sincere.
If you do these 3 things in secret…
You will start doing things out of pure intentions
You will stop boasting about your good deeds
You will not loose your reward from God which is very much valuable
You will start doing things to be seen of God and not to be seen by people
Your prayer will start becoming more genuine and it will please God
You will be satisfied because you know that God hears your prayers in secret
You will try to avoid spiritual competitions (by spiritual competition I mean, trying to prove that one is more spiritual)
You will start doing everything for the glory of God
You will start fasting for the true reason
You will become more humble
You will become more like a child with a pure and innocent heart
Now what are the areas in your life which you need to do a self-check?
The above is just an outline. Maybe you can examine yourself whether you are doing certain things out of true love or just for a show-off. Note down the areas to check and start taking necessary steps to make these things highly confidential and you will start to see how your spiritual life become more genuine and God would be much pleased with your devotion. Also you can pray to God to help you make your intentions pure.
What are the other things which we must do in secret? What would be the other outcomes if we truly practice genuine spirituality? Please drop a comment below.
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