Your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. Matthew 6:4
When Denise met a hurting young woman in her church, her heart went out to her and she decided to see if she could help. Every week she spent time counseling her and praying with her. Denise became her mentor. However, some church leaders didn’t notice Denise’s efforts and decided to assign a church staff member to mentor the woman. No one, they commented, seemed to be taking care of her.
While she was not expecting any credit, Denise couldn’t help but feel a little discouraged. “It’s as if I wasn’t doing anything at all,” she told me.
One day, however, the young woman told Denise how grateful she was for her comfort. Denise felt encouraged. It was as if God was telling her, “I know you’re there for her.” Denise still meets with the woman regularly.
Sometimes, we feel unappreciated when our efforts don’t get recognized. Scripture, however, reminds us that God knows what we’re doing. He sees what others don’t. And it pleases Him when we serve for His sake—not for man’s praise.
Perhaps that’s why Jesus gave us an example by telling us to do our giving “in secret,” so that “your Father, who sees what is done . . . will reward you” (Matt. 6:4). We need not look to others for recognition and praise; we can take heart that God knows when we’re faithful in serving Him and others.
In the Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 6–7), after Jesus’s strong caution against hypocrisy He gives us the proper motivation for our service to Him. Our reason to share with open hands and to raise our hands in prayer is out of love for the Father, who is the source of all that is good. The approval of the Father is better than any praise we may receive from others. It is the reward from Him that we should desire and pursue.
Because God sees everything we do and knows the motives of our heart, how might we seek to please Him this week in our service?