“Your Father who sees in secret will . . reward you openly.” Matthew 6:4 NKJV
“God looks for what you do right not wrong, to give reward not retribution.”
My thoughts today are about “secrets.”
Usually when secrets are mentioned you think of things that someone hopes no one ever finds out. I guess we all probably have more of those than we wish. I think we come by that pretty much as a family trait – it started in your bloodline as far back as Adam and Eve. When they had done what God told them not to do, and then heard Him calling for them in the Garden, they were afraid and hid themselves from God. See Genesis 3:7-10.
There have been too many such secrets and too much hiding ever since. It is so much better to have nothing to hide from God, isn’t it? “There is nothing covered that shall not be revealed, and hidden, that shall not be known.” Matthew 10:26. It is a warning to be taken quite seriously and literally.
“Your Father who sees in secret, will . . ” Will what? That first part of today’s verse sounds ominous doesn’t it? Most of us have failed so often and have such a skewed caricature of God that we assume something unpleasant will follow any thing that is secret.
But no, God is promising reward, not retribution. For what He sees you do in secret that others may or may not notice, He “will reward you openly.” Your God takes notice. He is not merely looking for what you do wrong; He is looking for what you do right! “God is not unjust; He will not forget your work and the love you have shown Him as you have helped His people.” Hebrews 6:10 NIV.
Haven’t you done the right thing, and wondered why no one seemed to even notice? Don’t you hate it when you act nobly and unselfishly, but no one pays any attention? That’s when you have to ask yourself the hard question, “Who am I doing it for, and what was I expecting to receive?” Your answer is found in what you were expecting and from whom you were expecting it.
Here’s Jesus’ warning when you give, when you pray, and when you fast: “Be careful not to do your ‘acts of righteousness’ before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. So when you give . . do not announce it with trumpets . . to be honored by men. I tell you the truth; they have received their reward in full . . that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” Matthew 6:1-4 NIV.
Being seen and being honored by men has its own reward. That may feel good at the moment and will temporarily satisfy the flesh and ego, but the best reward comes from God alone. God remembers; God records; God rewards! If you are going to keep secrets, let it be for things God will reward, not what He must judge.
Here is my summary today. Be open with God when you have done wrong so He will not have to judge you; be secretive about the good that you do, so He can honor and reward you as He wills. Go figure!
My prayer for you today is to do all that you do as unto the Lord, and for Him alone.