Doing good works quietly
"Everyone seem to want attention today. From the never-ending crop of willing contestants on reality TV shows to the banal infinity of YouTube performers, to nearly all of us spending so much time online, privately always hoping to garner ever more “likes” and followers — attention seems to be a goal for many of us today." ~ James Franco
No one is willing to work quietly behind the scenes anymore — willing to go unnoticed — not seeking or desiring fame or fortune. Sadly Christians (individuals and families) are no better. They aren't willing to quietly spread the work of God, instead it has turned into a circus, they want to be on TV, they drag their families on TV, they end up on the covers of fashion magazines and other Christians follow their fashions and hairdos. Bloggers to some extend are doing just that — and women flock to their sites and tell them how wonderful they are and as we all love praise, it builds egos and makes us feel good.
God wants us to do good works, these good works include serving our families and helping others. Helping others may involve taking care of a sick neighbour to helping at the local charity soup kitchen to lending a hand at church. Sadly, we all know women that put their hands up for numerous activities and whilst they do a great job, they expect lots of notice and praise for the work they do. And sometimes they like to remind others about all the good things they are doing — they become boastful and no longer wish to be one of the invisible workers in the team. In fact, they become rather unpleasant to be around.
And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. (Colossians 3:17)
No matter what we do, we should not expect praise (and that includes the work we do at home for our families), we should not seek glory and if we are noticed for the work we do, we need to use that recognition to glorify our Heavenly Father and not ourselves. We must not put on a performance to seek out more attention, to be noticed to grab the limelight. Because fame is like a drug, once you have a bit, you want more and the good intentions you started with begin to get watered down.
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:16)
Whatever we do, do it quietly and well. Do not seek attention in order to be noticed. People will notice if you do good things, but when you do them quietly and with grace and humility, they will see the goodness and not someone full of pride. Set an example to your children so when they do good deeds such as helping someone—that they don't automatically expect praise and notice. And when they help around the home, don't always give them pocket money, otherwise they will associate doing something nice with a financial reward rather than simply helping because its the right thing to do.
Nor did we seek glory from men, either from you or from others, when we might have made demands as apostles of Christ. (1 Thessalonians 2:6)
- We need to always remember why we are doing "good works", it isn't about us, its about God. It is never about us, our good deeds are our way of promoting God and sharing His wonders with unbelievers.
- We are never to be "boastful" about our activities and make a big song and dance to gain attention. Don't shout about your good deeds to the masses. “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.” (James 4:6)
- Good deeds shouldn’t be done because you think it will get you to heaven—it won't.
- Do not bemoan the lack of notice when you have done something at home i.e. cleaned the house or ironed the clothes. At times it might feel as if no one noticed or cares. But the truth is, all our unnoticed works may not always be seen by our children or our husbands—but they are appreciated and your family knows you do wonderful things for them to make their lives comfortable.
- Be willing to reach out and help someone, even if it might be an inconveniences to you—good deeds aren't about saving the world, they are about helping one person and making a difference to their day.
And finally, when you see other Christians doing good works, let them know—a quiet thankyou note, a bunch of flowers as a way of saying that you support and encourage their good works. Sadly Christians can be very critical of other Christians, instead of building them up and supporting their work, they tear them down and find fault in them (because you could do it far better than they can). Why not offer to help them in their activities, help behind the scenes, give encouragement.
”Some men’s sins are clearly evident, preceding them to judgment, but those of some men follow later. Likewise, the good works of some are clearly evident, and those that are otherwise cannot be hidden."
(1 Timothy 5:24-25)